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ERIC Number: ED404074
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Reducing the Odds: Backcountry Powder Skiing in Avalanche Terrain.
Daffern, Tony
This paper provides information and strategies to reduce the risk of encountering an avalanche when skiing or climbing on steep slopes. Skiers must recognize that the risk exists, be aware of their own tolerance for risk, and not allow companions to pressure them into taking more risk than they can tolerate. Ideally, one should ski with a small group of similar ability and similar risk tolerance. Four is a good group size--small enough to be manageable and large enough to deal with avalanche rescue. A good skier making smooth turns stresses the slope less than a falling skier. Basic safety tips include carrying and knowing how to use basic safety and rescue equipment, skiing familiar slopes, making a habit of forming an opinion about snow stability, listening to weather and avalanche forecasts, and waiting for the right conditions. "Snowcraft" entails observing and storing minute details to build up a picture of snow conditions. Some things to look for are evidence of avalanching, wind direction, aspect of the slope to sun and wind, texture of the snow surface, feelings of settling underfoot, and the way the skis move through the snow. Instructions are provided for various tests of snow stability: ski pole test, digging a snow pit, shovel shear test, compression test, loaded column test, and Rutschblock test. Procedures for stability evaluation are summarized, and suggestions are offered for managing groups of skiers and for skiing safely and with the least stress to the slope. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A