There is a lot to learn from good avalanche training. With the growing interest in extreme sports there has also been an increase in accidents on the slopes. Safety should be of paramount concern to everyone who participates in these sports. Skiers, snow boarders and mountaineers are all at risk for being the victim of a sudden and unexpected avalanche.
Taking a safety course is an extremely important step that really can save lives. There are a range of classes to suit all needs. The most basic usually last a day and introduce the participants to the warning signs of a problem, how to avoid being caught in an avalanche and how to reach should the worst happen. Many tragedies could be avoided by people attending one of these courses and learning to make well informed decisions.
One of the most important factors for everyone to remember is that awareness and prevention are the best policy. Many accidents could be avoided if the individuals had followed the most basic safety rules. Anyone skiing in high mountains needs to be aware of the dangers of an avalanche. They can happen at any time and without warning. However, there are usually signs to look out for that can help the skiers make an informed decision.
Learning to read the mountain and snow conditions is a skill that can be learned. Training courses show people how to detect obvious signs of danger. They also emphasise the importance of checking the local conditions and bulletins daily. Weather reports should also be taken into considerations. Those who think they may ski off the marked trails should also make sure that someone in a position of responsibility knows where they are going and when they plan to be back.
Working with an experienced local guide is very important. Anyone who plans to go off the main slopes must acknowledge the inherent risks they are taking. A guide has lots of local knowledge and training in how to react should there be an emergency. They also know how important it is to leave details of their skiing plans back at the lodge, should there be a problem. Getting help fast is often the difference between life and death.
A party that is planning to ski or snow board off the regular slopes should always work with an experienced local guide. These people really know the area and can spot the warning signs quickly. They are often trained in search and rescue techniques that can be the difference between life and death.
A good training course will also help prevent skiers being caught in an avalanche. Once they understand how snow pack develops and changes over time they are much more able to accurately spot danger signs. These danger signs are commonly referred to as red flags and they should never be ignored. However tempting it may be to ski off the trail, people need to realize the danger they are putting themselves in. Skier triggered avalanches are common in some areas and have claimed the lives of many unwary people.
Avalanche training will also teach the skier how to react should they be caught in an avalanche. There are special search, rescue and shoveling techniques that can help to locate a victim quickly and get them out of the snow before it is too late. Vigilance and planning are the key elements to keep in mind during any trip to the slopes.
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Author: Celia HallThis author has published 202 articles so far.