Minimizing The Risk

Climbers have many ways to minimize the risk of avalanches and increase their chances of survival if one hits. These efforts begin before they leave home and continue throughout the climb. It's obvious advice, but check the weather report before starting the trip. Heed the detailed avalanche hazard reports prepared by agencies in many mountain areas. Talk to people with local knowledge.

Plan the route before getting under way, but be ready to adjust it depending on conditions. Lots of factors influence avalanche safety, and a problem with any one of them should be grounds to rethink your well-laid plans. During periods of general danger, are you willing to travel only in the morning and evening, when avalanche danger is lowest? Do you have a retreat route in mind? Are you prepared for an emergency bivouac? And don't let summit lust outweigh safety. The safest course might be to go home, or not to leave in the first place.

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