An avalanche or snowfall is a mass of snow falling or sliding off steep slopes. Avalanche formation is possible in all areas where permanent snow cover is established..
Snow avalanches, movement in an avalanche danger zone, human behavior in a danger zone.
Snow avalanches can occur at any time of the year or day from congestion in the slopes during snowstorms or after heavy snowfalls due to the low adhesion between new snow and the underlying surface. These are the so-called dry avalanches.
. The main thing is not to cut the avalanche, it is better to bypass the dangerous place. If this cannot be done, then it is best to move along the slope strictly upward, in the extreme case, obliquely, since the transverse (horizontal) intersection of the snow layer can undercut it, disrupt the adhesion of snow to the underlying surface and cause an avalanche. Being in an avalanche-hazardous place, you can not make noise and scream.
If an avalanche occurs, you must leave the danger zone as soon as possible, best of all by an oblique descent. If you cannot escape the avalanche, you need to quickly unfasten the waist belt, cover your mouth and nose with part of the clothes so that snow dust does not accumulate in them, and energetically perform swimming movements with your hands and feet, try to stay on the surface of the snow mass, moving towards the edge of the avalanche. Once under the snow, you should press your knees to your stomach and cover your face with bent hands, while squeezing the snow from your mouth so that you can breathe.
As soon as the avalanche has stopped, it is necessary to immediately do everything possible to free it from the snow, because in a stationary state it begins to quickly condense and freezes, threatening to turn into a trap. Hitting an avalanche is, in the first place, fraught with suffocation and hypothermia of the body. When hit in an avalanche, fractures and injuries from hitting trees and stones often occur along its path. Severe fractures can be observed when hit in an avalanche from wet snow. Therefore, when digging out the victim, one must be very careful.
Based on materials from the book Encyclopedia of Survival.
Chernysh I. V.