|Avalanche Safety - Awareness Guidelines
Mountain riding is a fast growing activity for North American snowmobilers. With spectacular mountain terrains comes the added safety concern of avalanches. You can minimize your risk by taking an avalanche awareness course and carrying the proper equipment. If you don't live in the mountains, but plan to ride there occasionally, you should prepare yourself before leaving.
1. Take an Avalanche Skills Training (AST) course.
2. Carry Avalanche Safety Equipment: Transceiver (beacon), shovel and probe – AND KNOW HOW TO USE THEM.
3. Check the Avalanche bulletin (plan your trip according to current conditions)
4. Don’t group up in terrain that is threatened from above; allow a wide margin of safety around avalanche run out zones.
5. Speak up when you see others grouping together in avalanche threatened areas.
6. Don’t tolerate fellow riders not being prepared with rescue gear.
7. Practice with your own rescue gear at least once a month. Good search and rescue technique saves lives. Focus on quick transceiver search, effective probing and efficient shoveling.
8. Match terrain selection to what the avalanche danger will allow. Read the bulletin and plan your day to avoid the avalanche problems that are highlighted.
9. Understanding the type of avalanche problem is as important as knowing the danger rating.
* Example: managing Considerable Danger due to a deep slab requires
different technique than managing Considerable Danger due to wind slab.
10. Strategic shoveling saves valuable minutes
* Learn the best shoveling techniques. And carry a strong shovel that
you have tested on HARD packed snow.
11. Post the Avalanche Bulletins on your Facebook page or garage door. Make sure your Dealer and friends get the Bulletins.
12. Know the terrain rating with the current danger rating. This provides you with good decision making guidance.
13. For current class offerings, other tips and snow conditions bulletins, review these two web sites:
United States: www.avalanche.org