The Backcountry Checklist
Must Do – before you leave home:
- Follow the Outdoor Safety Code.
- Attend an avalanche awareness course. Check out MSC's training page to find a course near you.
- Gather information from books, videos and websites.
- Plan your trip route, check weather and snow conditions on www.avalanche.net.nz
- Anticipate your actions. What you want to do often overrides your better judgement.
Must Do – when in alpine terrain:
Here's a clip that demonstrates the incredible power of avalanches.
- Check your surroundings for recent avalanche activity, changes in terrain, snowpack and weather.
- Learn to recognise avalanche terrain.
- Analyse the snowpack stability using recommended tests.
- Carry avalanche transceivers, probes and metal-blade shovels and know how to use them.
- Travel one at a time across potential avalanche slopes.
Are you avalanche savvy?
Do you know how to recognise dangerous avalanche terrain?
Do you know how to use rescue equipment?
Have you considered carrying a transceiver, a probe and a shovel?
Do you know what weather sequences lead to avalanche conditions?
Have you checked the Backcountry Avalanche Advisory at www.avalanche.net.nz?
www.avalanche.net.nz is fantastic for getting the most recent information on avalanche risk levels at popular mountains around the country.
If you are heading into the backcountry and alpine terrain, check here first. And remember, avalanches happen in summer too.
You can download the Avalanche Safety and Avalanche Rescue pamphlets from the online store here