Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Brief Lesson in Avalanche Safety

Test for the possibility of avalanche by digging a straight horizontal line across the snow about two feet wide, and at least 6 to 10 inches deep. Then dig downward at a right angle from each end of your initial line, then complete a square by digging another line parallel to the first, leaving a raised square in the center. Lock your hands around the top of the square you have built in the snow, and pull downward, in order to determine the strength of the snow pack. If the snow seems solid, it is probably okay to climb on it. However, if you are able to slide the square of snow downward relatively easily, you may be in danger of causing an avalanche by climbing on the surface of the snow.
Caught in an avalanche, a person buried may have only 15 minutes to live before suffocating. If you are caught in an avalanche, you could be disorientated, and not know which way is up or down. One way of finding out which way to dig yourself out would be to spit. Due to natural gravitational pull, your spit will always fall downward, telling you which way is up. Once you have determined the upward direction, you can begin to dig upward.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blogging the local Mt Hood area of Oregon. With skiing, snowboarding, hiking, shopping, wind surfing, live bands, resorts, movies, and much more to do, you'll never be bored in the Mount Hood area.