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The Daily Process

Verify Conditions

An important part of the daily process is verifying conditions. Avalanche forecasts are produced for broad regions and it is not uncommon for conditions to vary within regions. Also, the avalanche forecast is based on the weather forecast. If the weather forecast is a bit off, this can affect the avalanche forecast.

Hat in snow with ruler
Before you head out in the morning, check how much it snowed overnight and compare that to the expected amount in the avalanche forecast. If there's more snow than expected, you will want to adjust your trip plan.

The purpose of verifying conditions is to determine whether the conditions you experience are worse than expected, in terms of avalanche danger. If this is the case, you will need to adjust.

Here are three options:

  • Switch to your plan B.
  • Abort the trip.
  • Continue with the trip, but exercise greater caution in the field.

An example of verifying conditions before you head out on your trip is to look at the snowfall. The Details tab of the avalanche forecast will tell you how much snow is expected. In the morning:

  • Compare expected snow amounts with what actually fell. Remote weather stations, ski resorts, webcams, and your own personal observations can all be used to see how much snow actually fell.
  • If more snow fell than expected (or even more is on the way), then consider adjusting your trip plan to account for avalanche conditions being worse than expected.

Other factors, such as temperature and wind, are also important to verify.