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Be avalanche aware – Tip #12

Be avalanche aware

Take avalanches seriously. Of course they happen in the Himalayas and the Alps. Everyone knows that. But they happen in Scotland (a lot), the Lake District and even Wales too. That’s why we spend a good amount of our time learning about them on our winter skills courses in Scotland and the Lake District.

If you are going into the mountains in winter and there is snow on the ground, then there is an avalanche risk. It may be small, but it’s there. But it could be a very high risk. Avalanches generally occur on slopes of 30 degrees or more. That’s a much lower angle than many expect – 30 to 45 degrees are common, with 38 degrees being the optimum.

The frightening bit – 90% of victims trigger their own avalanche.

Take the time to find out more about avalanches, understand the weather forecast and history, and read the avalanche forecasts – then take action on them. A good place to start is the Scottish Avalanche Information Service along with the BAA App.

You can also read our article on beginners’ tips for winter mountain walking.