How to Survive an Avalanche

Hiking up a snowy mountain is a great experience, as it gives you the chance to get your adrenaline going.

Unfortunately, avalanches can happen, putting your life in jeopardy.

If you are ever faced with one of these disasters, these steps are important to remember.

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Short & Long Term Survival

Move Sideways

One of the most important things to do during an avalanche is to move sideways as quickly as possible. This increases your chances of getting out of the way of avalanche, to avoid getting trapped under the snow.

As soon as you see snow start to shuffle around, find out where it's coming from and you need to move sideways. That’s because the center of the avalanche is the part that moves the fastest. When moving sideways, make sure you don’t move too quickly to where you lose your footing. This could make you a sitting duck, and your chances of surviving the avalanche drastically decrease.

Grab Something

If the avalanche isn’t that strong, it’s important to grab on to something. This may include a branch or an edge. This step can prevent the avalanche from pushing you down the mountain, which could result in significant injury.

If you have a sharp object and nothing is near you to grab, try driving the object into the ground to serve as an anchor for your body.

That way, you can remain in one location while the avalanche is happening. This decreases your chances of getting severely injured.

Utilize an Avalanche Beacon

beaconOne of the most important things to have when hiking or skiing down a mountain is an avalanche beacon. This device essentially gives other people a way to track your location after an avalanche has occurred. This is important because being trapped under the snow for days decreases your chances of survival.

These beacons are completely waterproof, so they will not malfunction in case they get wet because of the snow around you. These beacons are also compact, so carrying them while moving about the mountain won’t be difficult at all.

They have a long battery life, and some of them even have LED lights on them. This may come in handy if you are trying to get out of the snow when it’s dark outside.

So, next time you plan on hiking up a mountain be sure to pack an avalanche beacon and remember these steps.

Having the right gear and preparing yourself both physically and mentally will increase your chances of surviving this unfortunate event.


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