By John Moynier
For those who go back and forth, ski, snowmobile, snowshoe, or mountaineer in a space the place there's lots of slope and lots of snow, then you definitely are uncovered to avalanche possibility. In Avalanche conscious, veteran backcountry ski consultant and avalanche forecaster John Moynier deftly publications you thru the fundamentals of the way avalanches paintings, spotting avalanche terrain, and trying out the snow pack-before you enterprise onto risky flooring. necessary black-and-white illustrations of right apparatus, slope perspective, snow pit exams, and the consequences of wind and climate accompany his witty, informative causes of the way to prevent avalanche probability. No ebook on avalanche protection will be whole with out a description of seek tools within the occasion of an unforeseen slide, and Moynier's worthwhile motives of the way to move approximately discovering a misplaced good friend provide you with additional self belief if you take on the slopes. For actually stress-free and winning wintry weather expeditions, examine Avalanche conscious sooner than you head out and make it a part of the security apparatus you hold within the box.
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Extra resources for Avalanche Aware: Safe Travel in Avalanche Country
The fact that a steep slope does not appear to have suffered a catastrophic avalanche does not mean it's safe, however; the area may have experienced a slide without damage to trees or other vegetation. Page 43 Figure 6. Avalanche-flagged tree Page 44 Slope Configuration Changes in slope are another avalanche-hazard variable. Because gravity is constantly pulling on the snowpack, the greatest stress is found at the top of the slope or at areas where the slope angle changes. For this reason, convex roll-overs, where the slope angle increases dramatically, are particularly dangerous.
If this stress exceeds the snowpack's ability to absorb this stress, an avalanche will occur. As the bonds between the crystals break down and meltwater begins to move freely in the layer, individual crystals may slide down the slope, picking up others as they go like a cartoon snowball. These "rollers" or "sunballs" are an indication of the snowpack's decreasing stability and increasing avalanche hazard. The larger the sunballs become, the greater the likelihood of a wet snow avalanche. The same effect occurs with rain, fog, or warm wind.
The force or action that upsets the balance of the snowpack and sets the slope in motion is called a trigger. How big of a trigger it will take to get the snow to move depends on how close the snowpack is to the point of equilibrium. It may take an additional loading of new snow, the shock of a cornice collapsing on the slope, or simply the added weight of an unsuspecting skier or snowmobiler. The weakening of the snowpack through internal changes can also upset this balance, but more on that later.
Avalanche Aware: Safe Travel in Avalanche Country by John Moynier