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Snow Code for Snowsports

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Plan Your Trip

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Take Sufficient Supplies

Avalanche Awareness


Backcountry terrain is neither patrolled nor controlled by professionals, so if you're planning on going 'out back' or 'off the edge', it’s important to be well trained in avalanche safety and search and rescue techniques.

Know before you snow.  #MakeItHomeNZ



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:

  • 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.

Here's a clip that demonstrates the incredible power of avalanches.

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 NZ 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.

avalanche-safety-cover   avalanche-rescue-cover

Avalanche Pamphlets
You can download the Avalanche Safety and Avalanche Rescue pamphlets from the online store here



Mountain Safety Council managed websites
Mountain Saftey CouncilAdventure SmartAvalanche.net.nz