82 63% of snowmobile avalanche accidents occur while highmarking Bottom Line: if you’re going to highmark don’t expose more than one rider at a time on the slope
83 Don’t ride up to help out your stuck buddy!!
84 CARRY RESCUE GEAR!! Or better yet…make sure your PARTNER has rescue gear!
85 KEY POINTS Ride the slope one at a time. Don’t ride up to help dig out your stuck partner. Ride the slope one at a time. Don’t ride up to help dig out your stuck partner. Recent avalanches are an obvious sign of instability, so don’t play on adjacent slopes blindly. Test lots of small slopes on your way in and get off the packed trail as much as you can. Get off your machine and walk around occasionally. Riding a slope from the top down is a safer option than from the bottom up, because you are facing a better direction if anything goes wrong.
86 If the goal is to highmark then gather as much information as possible on initial passes by riding low and fast and not getting stuck. Turn away from the center of the slope. If the goal is to highmark then gather as much information as possible on initial passes by riding low and fast and not getting stuck. Turn away from the center of the slope. If you’re at the bottom waiting your turn and can’t avoid sitting in a big runout zone, keep your machines running and pointed away from the slope for a fast escape. Carry rescue gear on you and know how to use it.
87 Putting it all together… Recognize that patterns exist based on elevation, aspect and slope angle!
88 SAFE TRAVEL Slope angle, aspect with respect to sun and wind, consequences, slope shape, trees, runout, elevation, patterns of avalanche activity…
90 Created by: Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center US Forest Service National Avalanche Center Photographs courtesy of: Doug Chabot, Tom Evans, Ron Johnson, Lance Reik,Karl Birkeland, Bruce Tremper, Scott Schmidt, Ian McCammon, Don Bachman, Doug Fesler/Jill Fredston and CAIC. Special thanks to Doug and Jill for using their Terrain/Weather/Snowpack method from Snow Sense.