Geology And Geophysics

Avalanche Survival



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What is an avalanche ?

An avalanche is a huge mass of snow that breaks down from a side of mountain and slides down the mountain at very high speed, and has force to push anything which comes in its way.




Formation :-

Most of the avalanches occur due to bad weather conditions which causes snow on mountain slope to become unstable. Most avalanches occur after a snowstorm or during snowstorm. Other factors that can cause avalanche are :- Explosion, Earth tremors, Heavy snowfall, Snow on ice. Most avalanches have also occurred due to skiers.




Damages :-

Many people are killed, when disaster occurs. People are crushed under massive blocks of snow. Ice mass collects large amount of debris consisting of trees, rocks, etc. Hundreds of people and animals die when this disaster happens. And there is also power failure and water supplies are cut off, and roads are covered fully with snow.




Survival Tips :-




1. In many of the incidents skiers & boarders get stuck in avalanches because they are not aware of terrain or region or they don't have proper skills.

2. Keep in touch with weather reports and chances of avalanche to occur, these will tell you the possibility of avalanche that it will occur or not.

3. Keep proper equipments with yourself, so that, if you are stuck in avalanche you can increase chances of your survival.

4. Even if you are stuck up in avalanche, just don't panic, try saving yourself. First try protecting your vital organs from collision.

5. When the snow comes try your way to top by keeping your arms and legs in a "swimming" motion.

6. Never ski on a mountain alone, be with your friends, parents, guide, etc. so that they can keep track on you.

7. When doing your runs, be sure to go out one at a time and keep an eye out on your teammates. This way, your teammates behind you will be able to find you if you get stuck, dig you out, or call for help.

8. Carry mobile phones, transmitters, etc. while ski on mountain and keep it ON, so that even if you are victim of avalanche your teammates can find you easily.

9. If you are stuck up in snow, try to remove snow from your face so that you can breathe air, and you do not suffocate.

10. You should also read or follow instructions written or highlighted in certain areas.




These were the few points which can help you to survive an avalanche. There are many books, guides available in stores for "how to survive an avalanche". You can refer them too.

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