Some victims are buried partially or shallowly and can be located quickly by making a visual scan of the avalanche debris and pulling out any clothing or equipment found.
Consequently, it is vital that everyone surviving an avalanche is used in an immediate search and rescue operation, rather than waiting for help to arrive.
When an avalanche stops, the deceleration normally compresses the snow to a hard mass.
When considering any of theses devices, one should consider that if the group does not recover the avalanche victim within 15 minutes, the chance of survival rapidly decreases.
Other rescue devices are proposed, developed and used, such as avalanche balls, vests and airbags, based on statistics that most deaths are due to suffocation.
Victims caught in an avalanche are advised to try to ski or board toward the side of the avalanche until they fall, then to jettison their equipment and attempt swimming motions.
Determining the critical load that would trigger an avalanche is a complex task involving evaluation of many factors.
Avalanche prediction is difficult even with detailed weather reports and core samples from the snowpack.
Explosives are used extensively to prevent avalanches, especially at ski resorts where other methods are often impractical.
When there is a sufficient density of trees, they can greatly reduce the strength of avalanches.
Occasionally, mounds of earth are placed in the avalanche's path to slow it down.
Good avalanche safety is a continuous process, including route selection and examination of the snowpack, weather conditions, and human factors.
Witnesses to an avalanche that engulfs people are frequently limited to those in the party involved in the avalanche.
Finally, there are barriers that stop or deflect avalanches with their weight and strength.
Select likely burial areas and search them, listening for beeps (or voices), expanding to other areas of the avalanche, always looking and listening for other clues (movement, equipment, body parts).
Avoid contaminating the scent of the avalanche area with urine, food, spit, blood, etc, in case search dogs arrive.
An avalanche is one of the major dangers faced in the mountains.
Avalanches require a buried weak layer (or instability) and an overlying slab.
Avoid traveling below others who might trigger an avalanche.
Artificial barriers can be very effective in reducing avalanche damage.
Most avalanches happen during or soon after a storm.
Unfortunately relations between easily observable properties of snow layers (strength, grain size, grain type, temperature) and avalanche danger are complex and not yet fully understood.
Avalanches occur when the load on the upper layers of snow, rock, or other material exceeds the bonding forces of the material, including support from anchors such as rocks and trees.
Using an avalanche cord is the oldest form of equipment—mainly used before beacons became available.
The structure of the snowpack determines avalanche danger.
Once the avalanche has stopped, and there is no danger of secondary slides, these points should be marked with objects for reference.
A large avalanche can run for many miles, and can create massive destruction of the lower forest and anything else in its path.
Observe the terrain and note obvious avalanche paths where vegetation is missing or damaged, where there are few surface anchors, and below cornices or ice formations.
Trees can either be planted or they can be conserved, such as in the building of a ski resort, to reduce the strength of avalanches.
An avalanche is a huge, rapid slide of snow, ice, rock, or soil down a mountainside.
Chances of a buried victim being found alive and rescued are increased when everyone in a group is carrying and using standard avalanche equipment, and have trained in how to use it.
When a mixture of materials falls, it is called a debris avalanche.
Beacons—known as "beepers," peeps (pieps), ARVAs (Appareil de Recherche de Victimes en Avalanche, in French), LVS (Lawinen-Verschьtteten-Suchgerдt, Swiss German), avalanche transceivers, or various other trade names, are important for every member of the party.
During World War I, over 60,000 soldiers died in the Alps as a result of avalanches, many of which were caused by artillery fire.