Avalanche Triangle – Sorting Information Copy

The avalanche triangle is one way to sort information in the world of snow and avalanches. We can sort information using TERRAIN, SNOWPACK, WEATHER, and the HUMAN FACTOR.

When thinking of terrain, we ask “Is the Terrain Steep Enough to Avalanche?” The majority of slab avalanches occur in terrain that is 30° – 45°.

When thinking of snowpack, we ask “Is There a Recipe for an Avalanche? Is there a SLAB, WEAK LAYER, BED SURFACE and are we in TERRAIN steep enough to avalanche?”

When thinking of weather, we ask “Is the Weather Contributing to the Instability?”

And when thinking of the human factor, we ask “Is my Group Working as a Team?”

Here are a few more tips for when you’re touring. Copy

The following videos are OPTIONAL. Feel free to watch them or to skip them.

It can be tricky to put skins on in deep snow. Here’s one way to make it easier on yourself.

The easiest way to take your skins off is to take your skis off and then remove your skins. If you want to try another way, check this video out.

If you’re already out touring, you’ll notice that skins don’t stick perfectly to the bottom of your skis or splitboard every time. Below is a video on how to revive skin glue.

If you find yourself slipping as you’re skinning uphill, here are a few ways to make it easier on yourself.

What to wear for a backcountry tour Copy

Watch the video regarding how to dress for backcountry travel.  Layering is important when traveling in the backcountry, as you often warm up as you’re climbing and cool down as you are descending. Layers allow for simple, efficient temperature regulation.

You can find the equipment list for our field courses here.

Getting ready for a touring day Copy

Unsure about how to use your equipment? How to put your skins on? How to go from tour mode to ski mode? Check out AAI instructor as she talks through her system.

Are you a splitboarder? Check this video out.  It discusses how to get your splitboard and gear ready for the course.

Evacuating a Partner from the Backcountry

And if your partner is hurt and you need to get them out of the backcountry, here are thoughts on how to evacuate someone from the backcountry.

This video is optional.

Backcountry First Aid

If you or your partner is caught and carried in an avalanche, it is possible that you are hurt.  It is important to be prepared to manage injuries in the backcountry. Here are some thoughts on backcountry first aid following an avalanche.

This video is optional.

If you want to learn more about backcountry first aid, take a Wilderness First Aid course or a Wilderness First Responder course.

Parts of an Avalanche Rescue

There are many facets of a well-executed avalanche rescue.  Practicing all of the components is essential, as buried victims have the best chance of survival if they are recovered within the first 10 minutes.

Watch this video from Backcountry Access about organizing an avalanche rescue.