Every year, snowy avalanches claim the lives of hikers, campers, skiers, snowmobilers and others.

The key to staying safe is learning to avoid areas at risk of an avalanche.
Here are a few key points:

– avoid slopes 30 degrees or greater – even with trees
– less steep slopes are just as dangerous if connected to a steeper slope
– avoid being out in the area during a snow storm, or within the 48 hours after a storm
– stay clear of areas of recent avalanches
– watch for cracks in the snow
– winds and changing weather is a common trigger of an avalanche

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Web sites of the local region is generally the best places to visit for avalanche warnings, but the best defense is to simply pay attention to where you are and stay clear of avalanche prone regions. You may also want to take some advanced winter survival courses to know what to do if caught in an avalanche and how to rescue a partner if they’re caught in one.

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