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An avalanche may occur on a snow-covered slope when the strength of the snowpack cannot support the extra weight from a snowmobile, skier, rain, or heavy snowfall.

  • Learn to recognize and avoid avalanche terrain such as:
    • Areas where a slope is steeper than 30 degrees
    • Overhanging masses of snow or ice, often found on a ridge
  • Observe good safety procedures, especially relating to avalanches.
    • Make a riding plan based on the current avalanche and weather forecast.
    • Choose a route that is close to dense timber, if possible.
    • Travel with a partner or in a group.
      • Ride on the slope one at a time while the rest of the group watches from a safe spot.
      • Make sure each person has appropriate rescue gear, including a shovel, a probe, and a transceiver or beeper.
    • Before crossing an unstable slope, look for possible escape routes should an avalanche occur.
    • Do not park your snowmobile at the bottom of a slope.
    • Do not assist a rider whose sled is stuck on a steep slope. This can add weight to the snow pack and trigger an avalanche.
    • Do not participate in highmarking, which is riding up a steep slope to reach or go over the highest point (mark).
Illustration of the safest route and areas to avoid in order for snowmobiles to avoid a potential avalanche area
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