Avalanche Safety Tips
In the past weeks, Colorado has been experiencing some heavy weather conditions, which remind us of the importance of taking precautions while enjoying the outdoors. Winter sports and activities, such as hiking, snowboarding or ATV rides are fun and exciting. However, winter is unpredictable and suddenly you could find yourself dealing with a dangerous avalanche.
The best way to avoid a risky situation is by making all the preparations required first. Never presume that an area will be safe. The more prepared you are, the easier to anticipate any disaster. Research the weather and snow conditions. Try to book guided hikes or tours. This way, experts will lead you through the safest paths and trails. However, if it is too late, here is what you should do:
Always carry with you an avalanche beacon. It doesn’t matter if you are riding on a guided tour or on your own. This gadget transmits a radio frequency to a receiver or another beacon and enables your rescuers to pinpoint exactly where you are underneath the snow before they start digging.
In the blink of an eye, the ground could suddenly rip out from under you. The highest volume of snow will be in the center of the flow. It is also where the snow moves faster. Therefore, without hesitation move as quickly as possible to the side of the avalanche slope, while yelling and trying to catch people’s attention. The quicker you get out of the way the higher your chances of survival.
If you are not able to jump up the slope, and you are being dragged down the mountain, you should try to stay afloat and keep your head in the open air by swimming as hard as you can in the direction of the fast moving snow. Keep and arm above your head, pointing in the direction of the snow’s surface. This will help you figure out which way is up and may also help rescuers locate you.
If the avalanche is not too strong, try reaching out to grab something. Doing so, could keep you in a static location and help you not to get disoriented as the snow compacts around you. If you should become buried in the snow, stay calm and conserve your energy.
Spitting out a small amount of your saliva can help you figure out which way is up because the fluid will run down. Dig a pocket around your face and avoid breathing heavily. Even if it sounds weird, if you feel like urinating, do so. Rescue dogs strongly rely on smell to locate a victim while walking on the snow surface, thus, urine can become a very useful tool in this kind of situation.
Colorado is packed with opportunities for enjoying the outdoors in different and exciting ways. Book a guided ATV tour and explore the Rocky Mountains while admiring amazing wildlife. It is a thrilling and fun activity, perfect for the whole family.