How to Read the Terrain to Avoid an Avalanche

To be able to read a terrain to avoid an avalanche means considering certain things and these include:

STEEPNESS OF THE SLOPE – Slopes that are at a 300-400 inclination are more prone to avalanches. However, this doesn’t mean other slopes at an angle of 250-600 are not prone to an avalanche under certain conditions.

SLOPE PROFILE – Slopes with a convex shape are more dangerous and prone to an avalanche. You should stay away from them. Going to such places in December and January is never a good idea, so try to avoid it. On the other hand, slopes with a concave shape are less of a threat, though they also have avalanches sometimes.

SLOPE ASPECT – It’s an observation that slopes facing north are more prone to an avalanche in winter (particularly mid winter).

Slopes that face south can be even more dangerous during spring and on sunny days because the heat can cause snow to slide. Slopes on which snow accumulates during windy season are also prone to avalanches because this causes formation of hollow and hard wind slabs.

GROUND COVER – If the area has enough trees, rocks, and heavy bushes, then there is a good chance that these will anchor the snow. However, smooth and grassy slopes are threatening and you must avoid such places.