Outward Bound avalanche

Basic Avalanche Safety

Avalanches are possible any time you have snow on a slope. The best thing you can do before you head into the mountains is check the avalanche forecast.

If you are traveling where there isn't a current avalanche forecast, here are some simple things that will help you avoid avalanches.

  • Avalanches are possible when you have snow on a slope steeper than about 30 degrees.
  • Most avalanches happen during or soon after a big snowstorm,  period of strong winds, or during a thaw (rapid increase in temperature).
  • Signs of higher avalanche danger include recent avalanches, cracking in the snow, and audible collapsing. Avoid traveling on or under similar slopes.

If you want to dig deeper, you can view a list of educational resources on our Education Resources page