How to avoid an avalanche

Snowmobiling in the mountains can provide some of the most stunning views, but it can also be very dangerous. Not everyone lives through an avalanche, but here are some tips to help you avoid a dangerous situation:

1. Be prepared. Take an avalanche awareness class and buy avalanche beacons, probe and shovel.
2. Check the avalanche conditions.
3. Do a snow stability test on a small slope of similar angle to the one you plan to climb.
4. Practice with your beacon until you can find someone in 5 minutes.
5. If snow conditions are dangerous, ride in a safe area until conditions stabilize.
6. Only one person at a time should climb.
7. Everyone watching should park his or her sled out of danger. If an avalanche occurs, all spectators should be watching in order to narrow the search area.
8. If you can't get your sled unstuck by yourself, then don't try climbing the hill.
9. Don't go for help if your friends get buried in an avalanche, you are their best hope for survival.
10. Wearing an avalanche beacon is not a guarantee that you will survive an avalanche. Many people are killed by trauma rather than suffocation.
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