The Truth About Skiing

Avalanche safety and how to fully enjoy freeriding

Skier in avalancheIf you want to fully enjoy your freeriding, you must adopt some important avalanche safety rules. Avalanche is a fast surge of snow that plummets down the slope. On mountain terrain, there is no avalanche safety at all! An snow avalanche never occurs by itself or spontaneously, but there’s always a trigger. The trigger can be natural, such as weather changes – or of human influence. Natural triggers include extra precipitation, temperature fluctuation, rock or ice falls, and other changes within the structure and load of the snow cover. Human avalanche triggers include skiers, motor sleds and controlled movement of snow to create smaller avalanches that can be monitored so as to prevent bigger ones. It’s important to mention that sounds such as loud talking and singing can’t trigger an avalanche. Once started, an avalanche primarily consists of snow, and if it’s large enough, it can also shift stones, rocks, trees, mud, etc.

Remember this avalanche safety tip: an avalanche is triggered when the straining of the snow becomes greater than the cohesive forces between the layers of snow, or the grip between the snow and the ground surface. For freeride skiing, this generally only occurs between the layers of the snow itself.

How to avoid an avalanche and get to know with avalanche safety tips

Always respect signs and warnings

Why learn how to cope with an avalanche, when can you learn how to avoid it in the first place? If you’re a freerider then obviously you’ll need to know both, but if you can learn how to recognize the warning signs, then you’ll very rarely need to call upon the knowledge required to conduct a rescue. In order to either predict or avoid an avalanche, you’ll need to know how to choose your route; to examine the stability of snow cover, and take into consideration the weather conditions and human factors. Knowing and adopting a few good habits before going on freerides can also significantly reduce any risks.

The rule of thumb is that any snow that falls at a temperature between 0 and -8°C is the most stable because it has more cohesion, meaning that it’s safer provided there are no weak layers beneath it. Knowing and respecting the warning signs on avalanche safety; not setting off on a freeride when there’s a significant danger of avalanches, not skiing one behind the other, and not overestimating yourself, or underestimating the terrain in areas prone to avalanches, can be of vital importance.

It’s important to dress properly and wear warm clothing that will protect you from hypothermia should an avalanche smother you. You should never go off alone on a freeride, but only in a group of up to eight members. The group size should be considered so that there are enough of you to affect any potential rescue – but not too many, so as to increase the risk of avalanches and make management more difficult. Under no circumstances should you go off alone freeriding because there will be no one around to help you or even witness your burial.

Avalanche safety equipment

Avalanche safety gear is described in avalanche guide. You must not go on a freeriding without: map, compass, beacon, Recco TM, Probe, shovel, avalanche safety airbag backpack, AvaLung, avalanche safety ball… Also, it is very smart to attend some avalanche safety course in you residence.

We can give you huge number of avalanche safety advice. This book will give you full description about avalanche safety in freeriding, so you can go on an experience like this well-informed and equipped. Learn about avalanche safety everything you can because you never know what could happen on an extreme sporting such as freeriding!

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