Avalanche Safety AWARENESS & Useful links to share for a Skibum
Our Knowledge
Powder Freaks , or what could be helpful for you to understand and enjoy the backcountry more...
Yo my friends - #winteriscoming and I am highly recommend you the Avalanche Safety refreshment courses to be better prepared and fine tune your knowledge.
You will know basically all aspects of backcountry freeride in Europe & North America.
Please note the theory is a base and it's an A-B-C procedure
only. The aspects of the local mountain environment could vary, so it's absolutely must to check with the locals about the specifics of the terrain, region etc.
Enjoy and stay Safe!

Alex Orlov
I have been passionate about climbing for almost 20 years of my life. I love to climb, I love the mountains, the challenge, I love pushing limits of fear and comfort, the travels and the friendships that result from the intensity of solitude that the sport brings with it.

Safety first or how to prepare for an amazing #PowderDay
So - be prepared: The Atomic Mountain Academy is a comprehensive online course to develop essential snow and mountain safety skills, helping you make smarter decisions every time you go off piste. Developed with the guys at WePowder, the Atomic Mountain Academy brings together some of the world's most elite mountain experts: official national authorities, top avalanche centers, mountain guides and experienced freeriders.
An online reminder from Ortovox Safety Academy. Avalanche basics. Find out about the avalanche danger levels, the ways to reduce risks in the field, and everything else there is to know about snow and avalanches.
One more from a 1947 Ski Brand - Salomon. Smarten up your skiing with the most comprehensive backcountry snow safety courses on the web. Learn to make decisions, analyze terrain and explore beyond the boundaries through digital instruction.

"Chance favors the prepared mind."
just Remember
"Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things and it's could be you .."
"Use your Knowledge to get Powder Days , and when getting Powder Days accepting them, as a Knowledge, learning and understanding them !" #PowderisKnowledge
Avalanche Risk Scale
Every modern ski resort will issue notices (bulletins) indicating the level of Avalanche Risk for each day. These risk levels are generally quoted from a five-point scale of increasing risk (of avalanche).

You must remember Four important points:
About this scale !!!

1) The scale is not linear. Your risk increases about two fold for each rising level on the danger scale. In other words, you take on twice as much risk at Moderate as Low and you take on four times more risk going from Low to Considerable. And so on. The risk numbers in the graph below come from Werner Munter's estimates based on avalanche acitivity in Switzerland.

1)Triggering is possible by groups of skiers on a few very steep extreme slopes. Small natural avalanches (sluffs) are possible.

2) Most avalanche fatalities occur at Considerable danger because the maximum interaction between people and avalanches occurs there. There is also more uncertainty associated with Considerable danger and the difference between dangerous and not-so-dangerous terrain is much harder to identify.

3) The avalanche danger ratings are for "avalanche terrain" meaning for slopes steep enough to slide, in other words, slopes generally steeper than 30 degrees. But since 3 out of 4 avalanches occur on slopes between 34 and 45 degrees, the danger ratings are mainly for these slope angles. Even on High Danger days, you can always find safe terrain on low angled slopes not locally connected to steeper slopes.

4) The danger ratings are based on BOTH probability and consequences. In times past, the danger ratings were based on just probability of triggering an avalanche but with the new danger ratings that came out in 2010, they are based on Likelihood of Triggering (probability) versus Size (consequences). This was adopted to conform to standard risk theory and also as a better way to communicate the character of the hazard, for instance avalanches that are hard to trigger but if you do trigger one, it will be very large and dangerous.

Evaluate every step of your trip.Prepare your mind - your kit - your essential . Know, how to use it .. Practice - Practice - Practice!

"It's very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better"..
Powder is Knowledge , some useful advice from a Mountain Guide , how to be better prepared. Only 5 Things , that could safe your life ..
Are you equipped with up to date news ?
Do you have a Safety bulletin of the day?
A fresh one , like wePowder?
Snow forecast for the Alps and the weather in 800+ ski areas in the Alps. Forecasts, snow safety, news and an active community!
An Introduction to the North American Avalanche Danger Scale.
his video illustrates the ins-and-outs of the North American Avalanche Danger Scale. Many thanks to Nomadic Creative, Grant Gunderson Photography, and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center for their work on this video.


Staying Alive !
Nothing to add . Another essential book - tool - kit for your understanding , if you are going to North America this winter for a ride.
Expertly peer-reviewed and structured after the classes of the American Avalanche Association, the "Staying Alive In Avalanche Terrain" Book is widely-regarded as the most authoritative commentary on avalanche safety. Decreased funding for search-and-rescue teams, coupled with an increased number of avalanche-related deaths due to the recent boom in backcountry skiing popularity, makes self-education more important than ever before. Written by Bruce Tremper, the director of the Forest Service Utah Avalanche Center, this book makes it easy for snowmobilers, snowboarders, skiers, and climbers to learn all of the most up-to-date and crucial avalanche safety skills. While this book is an excellent tool, it does not replace the need for taking an avalanche safety class.

An avalanche is a rapid flow of snow down a sloping surface. Avalanches are typically triggered in a starting zone from a mechanical failure in the snowpack (slab avalanche) when the forces on the snow exceed its strength but sometimes only with gradually widening (loose snow avalanche). After initiation, avalanches usually accelerate rapidly and grow in mass and volume as they entrain more snow. If the avalanche moves fast enough some of the snow may mix with the air forming a powder snow avalanche, which is a type of gravity current.

Detailed, complete and compact - the FREERIDE-MAP©
The best rides in the hottest freeride spots across the Alps - that's what Freeride Maps brings to you. These are worldwide unique maps for freeriders which make local expert knowledge freely available. All skiable slopes and couloirs are labelled as "freeride corridors" and assigned one of three colour-coded difficulty ratings.

A RESCUE Mission And this is a story , that needs to be told ..
Pure nonsense..

In March of 2013, four friends from Whitehorse, Yukon, made the 1200 km road trip south to Shames Mountain, BC. With fresh snow and clearing skies, they embarked on a week-long adventure exploring the area's backcountry. Four days in, on a bluebird day in Cherry Bowl, their trip came to an abrupt end.

Have a look at The BCA Trackers 3 Beacon course , All in details . Practice - Practice - Practice!

Have a look at the real case and how the KIT could safe your life and your partners ..
"Is this really the best we can hope for?
We run the gauntlet for a while; we get lucky or we don't; and then, if by chance we find ourselves still alive one sunny day in the mountains, we call ourselves smart and back off?"


Get the goods without getting buried! BCA presents the five backcountry basics all riders should follow to avoid getting caught in avalanches.
Before you go: get the gear, get the training, get the forecast.
Once you're out there: get the picture, get out of harm's way.
These avalanche safety guidelines were developed in conjunction with AIAREand The Avalanche Project. Featuring BCA ambassadors Lel Tone and Colter Hinchliffe.

Innovation & Safety


1. Take an avalanche safety course and learn the backcountry basics:

  • How different kinds of avalanches occur
  • How terrain choices and changing weather impact your safety
  • How to travel in avalanche terrain to minimize your risk
  • How to make smart decisions as a group
  • How to rescue one or more buried people
  • How your actions can impact the safety of other groups
2. Learn how to provide first aid to an injured member of your party.


1. First thing in the morning, check your local avalanche center website and click the map or regional link to get your local avalanche forecast and advisory.

2. Identify the avalanche problems you expect to find and where you would anticipate finding them in the terrain.


1. Research your route – review terrain photos, maps and reports from others to anticipate dangerous terrain and where to get the best snow

2. Plan to avoid the current avalanche problems:

  • Identify terrain to avoid for the day – mark it on your terrain imagery so you won't be tempted.
  • Create a list of desirable terrain options where you expect to find the goods – use the terrain imagery to make sure you wind up in the right place.
  • Note where you expect to make key decision for the day – mark it on your terrain imagery so you'll remember to regroup.
  • Let someone know where you plan to go and when you plan to return.
  • Stay out of the way of any avalanche mitigation planned for where you intend to ride.
  • Anticipate and look for signs of hazardous or changing conditions in the field.
3. Recent avalanche activity:

  • Changing or significant wind, snowfall, temperature
  • Cracking or collapsing snow
  • Recent wind deposited snow
4. Communicate within your group:

  • Is anyone outside their comfort zone?
  • Talk specifically about the terrain ahead, exposure to hazards and your plan to avoid the problems.

1. Limit your group's exposure to backcountry dangers and dangerous terrain.
2. Discuss the consequence of traveling on a slope before committing, avoid terrain traps.
3. Place only one person on a suspect slope at a time.
  • Don't help a buddy find a lost ski or get unstuck in hazardous terrain
  • Cross or ride suspect slopes one at a time
4. Stay in contact with one another.
  • Voice
  • Visual
5. Don't stop in an area exposed to avalanche hazard.
6. Don't enter a closed area or any place undergoing control work.
7. Minimize your impacts on others – be aware of:
  • Groups above you
  • Groups below you
  • Roads & buildings below you
  • Control work nearby
8. Never intentionally trigger an avalanche unless you are sure the area below is clear.

Avalanche Problems
The Avalanche Problems describe part of the nature of the current avalanche danger. Understanding the current Problems is essential, because it allows you to determine your approach and strategies to risk treatment. Below are brief descriptions of the Avalanche Problems, and links to detailed information on the Problem, formation, patterns, recognition, and avoidance strategies.
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Everyday we work hard to make life of Freeriders Safer & Happier
Loose Dry
Release of dry unconsolidated snow. These avalanches typically occur within layers of soft snow near the surface of the snowpack. Loose-dry avalanches start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. Other names for loose-dry avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs. Loose-dry avalanches can trigger slab avalanches that break into deeper layers.
Loose Dry avalanches are usually relatively harmless to people. They can be hazardous if you are caught and carried into or over a terrain trap (e.g. gully, rocks, dense timber, cliff, crevasse) or down a long slope. Avoid traveling in or above terrain traps when Loose Dry avalanches are likely.

Storm Slab
Release of a soft cohesive layer (a slab) of new snow that breaks within the storm snow or on the old snow surface. Storm-slab problems typically last between a few hours and few days. Storm-slabs that form over a persistent weak layer (surface hoar, depth hoar, or near-surface facets) may be termed Persistent Slabs or may develop into Persistent Slabs.
You can reduce your risk from Storm Slabs by waiting a day or two after a storm before venturing into steep terrain. Storm slabs are most dangerous on slopes with terrain traps, such as timber, gullies, over cliffs, or terrain features that make it difficult for a rider to escape off the side.

Wind Slab
Release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) formed by the wind. Wind typically transports snow from the upwind sides of terrain features and deposits snow on the downwind side. Wind slabs are often smooth and rounded and sometimes sound hollow, and can range from soft to hard. Wind slabs that form over a persistent weak layer (surface hoar, depth hoar, or near-surface facets) may be termed Persistent Slabs or may develop into Persistent Slabs.
Wind Slabs form in specific areas, and are confined to lee and cross-loaded terrain features. They can be avoided by sticking to sheltered or wind-scoured areas.

Persistent Slab
Release of a cohesive layer of soft to hard snow (a slab) in the middle to upper snowpack, when the bond to an underlying persistent weak layer breaks. Persistent layers include: surface hoar, depth hoar, near-surface facets, or faceted snow. Persistent weak layers can continue to produce avalanches for days, weeks or even months, making them especially dangerous and tricky. As additional snow and wind events build a thicker slab on top of the persistent weak layer, this avalanche problem may develop into a Deep Persistent Slab.
The best ways to manage the risk from Persistent Slabs is to make conservative terrain choices. They can be triggered by light loads and weeks after the last storm. The slabs often propagate in surprising and unpredictable ways. This makes this problem difficult to predict and manage and requires a wide safety buffer to handle the uncertainty.

Loose Wet
Release of wet unconsolidated snow or slush. These avalanches typically occur within layers of wet snow near the surface of the snowpack, but they may quickly gouge into lower snowpack layers. Like Loose Dry Avalanches, they start at a point and entrain snow as they move downhill, forming a fan-shaped avalanche. They generally move slowly, but can contain enough mass to cause significant damage to trees, cars or buildings. Other names for loose-wet avalanches include point-release avalanches or sluffs. Loose Wet avalanches can trigger slab avalanches that break into deeper snow layers.
Travel when the snow surface is colder and stronger. Plan your trips to avoid crossing on or under very steep slopes in the afternoon. Move to colder, shadier slopes once the snow surface turns slushly. Avoid steep, sunlit slopes above terrain traps, cliffs areas and long sustained steep pitches.

Wet Slab
Release of a cohesive layer of snow (a slab) that is generally moist or wet when the flow of liquid water weakens the bond between the slab and the surface below (snow or ground). They often occur during prolonged warming events and/or rain-on-snow events. Wet Slabs can be very destructive.
Avoid terrain where and when you suspect Wet Slab avalanche activity. Give yourself a wide safety buffer to handle the uncertainty.

Cornice Fall
Cornice Fall is the release of an overhanging mass of snow that forms as the wind moves snow over a sharp terrain feature, such as a ridge, and deposits snow on the downwind (leeward) side. Cornices range in size from small wind lips of soft snow to large overhangs of hard snow that are 30 feet (10 meters) or taller. They can break off the terrain suddenly and pull back onto the ridge top and catch people by surprise even on the flat ground above the slope. Even small cornices can have enough mass to be destructive and deadly. Cornice Fall can entrain loose surface snow or trigger slab avalanches. Cornices can never be trusted and avoiding them is necessary for safe backcountry travel. Stay well back from ridge line areas with cornices. They often overhang the ridge edge can be triggered remotely. Avoid areas underneath cornices. Even small Cornice Fall can trigger a larger avalanche and large Cornice Fall can easily crush a human. Periods of significant temperature warm-up are times to be particularly aware.

Release of the entire snow cover as a result of gliding over the ground. Glide avalanches can be composed of wet, moist, or almost entirely dry snow. They typically occur in very specific paths, where the slope is steep enough and the ground surface is relatively smooth. The are often proceeded by full depth cracks (glide cracks), though the time between the appearance of a crack and an avalanche can vary between seconds and months. Glide avalanches are unlikely to be triggered by a person, are nearly impossible to forecast, and thus pose a hazard that is extremely difficult to manage.

Predicting the release of Glide Avalanches is very challenging. Because Glide Avalanches only occur on very specific slopes, safe travel relies on identifying and avoiding those slopes. Glide cracks are a significant indicator, as are recent Glide Avalanches.

he unique and diverse snow climate of the Elk Mountains paired with the remoteness of Crested Butte, Colorado, surrounded by acres of pristine wilderness, has presented challenges and limitations for state-wide forecasting operations. The Crested Butte Avalanche Center (CBAC) was born in 2002 out of a need for accurate snow and avalanche information in the Gunnison Valley. Unlike other government funded centers, the CBAC was started by volunteer forecasters issuing daily forecasts from a basement work station. A true labor of love for backcountry recreation.

In the past decade, the CBAC has made huge improvements to meet the demands of our growing backcountry community. Backcountry use continues to grow in the mountains around Crested Butte and our non-profit avalanche forecasting center is working to match strides with the public's increased need for accurate and useful weather, snowpack, and avalanche information. Through daily avalanche advisories, public outreach, and educational events, we are committed to making the backcountry a safer place.

Individual Approach
Our company works according to the principle of individual approach to every client. This method lets us to get success in problems of all levels.


Feel free to contact me
Alex Orlov
Phone: +447801576233
E-mail: powderisknowledge@gmail.com

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