Getting caught in an avalanche can be a violent and chaotic experience. The best way to respond largely depends on where you are on the slope. There is no surefire way to escape an avalanche and sometimes it will be impossible, but there are some general steps that may increase your chance of survival.
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Avalanche survival techniques for skiers 1. Yell "AVALANCHE!" to alert others and warn them of your situation. 2. Try to ride to the side. Adopt a wide stance and go as fast as possible at a 45-degree angle down and across the debris flow. 3. If you are near the top of the avalanche, try to self-arrest by digging your poles or hands into the bed surface. 4. If you are near a tree, hug it tightly or shelter on the downhill side. 5. If you are caught in the flow, remove your skis/board and poles. This will reduce the risk of injury. 6. Activate your avalanche airbag, if you have one. 7. Fight to stay afloat by swimming towards the surface. Push off blocks of snow to stay as close to the surface as possible. 8. Brace against trees or other objects if possible. 10. If an avalanche is coming towards you, ride away as quickly as you can towards to the side of the avalanche path. 9. As the flow starts to slow, try to create an airspace by clearing snow in front of your mouth with one hand while reaching to the surface with the other. Avalanche survival techniques for snowmobilers 1. A spotter with a radio should immediately broadcast "AVALANCHE!" to alert the group. 2. If you are pointing uphill, ride off the slab to the nearest side at a 45-degree angle. In some case, riding straight up may be the best choice. 3. If you are pointing downhill, get off the slab by turning off to the side. Don't try to outrun the slide because you are likely to get bucked off when you hit the waves of snow that form at the base of the avalanche. 4. If you are thrown off your machine near the top of the slide, try to self-arrest by digging your hands and feet into the bed surface. 5. If you are off your machine and near a tree, try to hug onto it or shelter on the downhill side. 6. If you are caught in the flow, activate your avalanche airbag. 7. Fight to stay afloat by swimming towards the surface. 8. Brace yourself against a tree or other object, if possible. 9. Try to prevent snow from entering your helmet. Try to create an airspace by clearing snow in front of your mouth with one hand, and reach towards the surface with the other. 10. If an avalanche is coming towards you, fire up your sled and ride away as quickly as possible. Make sure you're ready to get away in a hurry.