Recognizing and Avoiding Avalanche Areas
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.
- Although avalanches are rare in Michigan, always check with local officials if you are visiting a known avalanche area.
- 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
- Choosing a route that is close to dense timber, if possible
- Observe good safety procedures, especially relating to avalanches.
- Travel with a partner or in a group. Make sure each person has appropriate rescue gear, including a shovel and a transceiver or beeper.
- Before crossing an unstable slope, look for possible escape routes should an avalanche occur.