10 Basics You Should Know About Avalanches

March 2019 Feature

(special thanks to BCA Backcountry Access)

1. Having, Knowing & Taking

Have the right equipment. For mountain sledding, you should at minimum have a transciever beacon and a backpack with a shovel and a probe. Beyond the minimums, you should have an avalanche airbag backpack and radios. Beyond that, carry a second shovel and probe on your snowmobile (but don't carry your only shovel and probe on the snowmobile––that should stay on your body). 

Know how the stuff works and how to use it (more on that as we continue). If you were to get caught in an avy, would you be ok with the riders in your group winging it and trying to figure out how to search, probe and dig while you're buried? 

Take the gear with you every time you ride. Too many avalanche incidents have occured where the victim had gear but left it behind. 

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