How to Survive an Avalanche

Doing a little backcountry exploration? Pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones gives his five tips for making it back to the lodge alive

1.) Look at the Slope
No matter the conditions, think: "What happens if this slope slides?" Avoid terrain traps like gullies, tree groves, and cliffs.

2.) Be Patient
Ninety percent of avalanches happen during or within 24 hours of a storm. Give fresh fallen snow time to settle before you go for a ride.

3.) Think Steep
Remember your math. The most dangerous terrain is at exactly 38 degrees—the angle where snow is most likely to slide. Steeper slopes don't hold as much snow.

4.) Check the Calendar
The majority of avalanche deaths are in December, January, and the beginning of February. March, April, and May are much safer.

5.) Know the Avalanche Forecast
Go to avalanche.org before skiing or snowboarding in the backcountry. It could save your life.

Related articles:

Winter-Sports Training Guide

Survive This! How to defuse four life-threatening scenarios

Ski Lodges: Relax at these ultra-luxurious winter destinations

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