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Avalanche Safety

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am doing a report, and I was wondering what you guys need to do after a storm to ensure the runs are safe. Do you guys like dig snowpits etc. to see the layers? I see you guys going out and dropping bombs etc. but to tell the truth, I really do not know what you guys do after a storm.

thanks a lot -powderhound
post #2 of 4
It's a science and an art. All of the avalanche paths at a ski area are known and cataloged, then based on the storm, type of snow, wind direction, underlying layers, etc, etc, etc., decisions are made on how to mitigate the hazard.

Ski cuts are probably the most used tool, where a skier moves across the starting zone of a path, from safe zone to safe zone, to try and start a slide. This can be exciting and, of course, should never be done on a suspected hardslab. That is where handcharges come in handy, in cases where the results of getting caught are unacceptable.

There is really more to it than I can type here, but if you had specific questions I could try and answer them.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
no specific questions yet, but thanks for the reply, that was helpful.
post #4 of 4
A lot of it has to do with the recent history of the slope, doesn't it?
That's something that a visitor can't know, but locals (esp. rangers or resort employees) would know.
For example, if it snowed, thawed, and refroze, the next snowfall will form a slab on top of the refrozen surface. Same thing if the surface was windblown in the sun for a week before the most recent storm.
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