How to escape from an avalanche
Snow avalanches themselves, about where the probability of their descent is greater, where there is less, how to independently determine the avalanche hazard of a potential skiing place, is described in detail in an article on snow avalanches. But the conversation about salvation from avalanches should begin with an analysis of the necessary rules of behavior on unprepared slopes, potentially dangerous in an avalanche.
The very first and most important thing – nothing to do alone in the mountains. Absolutely. Even if you are going to just walk without skis, and even if the slope is not avalanche-hazardous, or even there is no snow on this mountain, or maybe it never was there, and you went mushrooming, you should remember that there is nothing to do in the mountains. You can think about it anything, but the situation does not change from this. Let the probability of a bite of a mountain viper be a million to one, and a leopard attack in the Caucasus mountains a hundred to one, and the probability of tucking a foot ten to one does not change anything. Because if this probability, certainly not zero, will turn into an accident, and you will lie under a stone or bush without the ability to move, and your mobile will show a complete lack of communication, then you will greatly regret that you went to the mountains on your own. Therefore, never do this. Even if two hundred percent are sure that all this is not about you? And there are no avalanches in this place.
You can go to the mountains only in groups. In extreme cases, in pairs. But if it is still not about finding mushrooms, but about skiing or snowboarding, then this couple should not be a pretty girl to warm up at night in a tent, but a more experienced rider than you. And even better if it is a group of more experienced riders.
But we should not forget that five people are a group, and fifty are a crowd. And if you are more than ten people, then during an avalanche it will increase rather than reduce the number of victims. Groups of more than ten people are prone to panic, thoughtless actions, and their members, wanting to show off in front of others, are capable of unjustified risk, which can cause an avalanche, and cost the life of the whole group.
How to escape from an avalanche
The ideal group is five, and the most experienced rider should lead the group, and the rest should implicitly, without a hint of democracy, obey him. And if he suddenly says “jump up”, you need to ask neither “why”, but “to what height”. Remember – at least ten percent of all those who died in the mountains in general and under the avalanches in particular, are either loners or opponents of a totalitarian management style. These are those who freaked out and lagged behind, these are those who pouted and stepped aside, these are those who, having caused conflict, endangered both themselves and the rest.
While in the city, a person imagines himself to be the top link in the food chain that, even when he is in the mountains, he continues to think that this is true. No that’s not true. And you will understand this as soon as you run into a bear or a leopard jumps on your neck from behind. Do not go to the mountains alone! Beasts are less likely to attack a group. So it’s not only an avalanche.
Going down a group is necessary in a certain sequence. Everyone is strictly forbidden to ride at the same time. The group leader himself determines the order and assigns numbers for the descent to everyone, at his discretion. And you need to go down to these numbers.
As a rule, the most technical and experienced rider comes down first. He is followed by the leader of the group, then, in the order he determines, the other riders, and the latter is better to put the skating as well, but more than others who are versed in saving and first aid.
Do not save on protection and special equipment. The group should include avalanche shovels and avalanche bippers. Yes, all this is not very cool, and it seems to demonstrate that you, like, are afraid in the mountains. But you will be very indifferent to the opinions of others when you lie under cubic meters of snow and know that your comrades cannot find you or dig you out, because everyone wanted to look cool. It’s not very pleasant to die, according to the survivors, but to die with the idea that only stupidity and arrogance did not allow to avoid what happened was completely worthless. In addition, death under an avalanche, if you do not instantly turn your neck, is one of the most difficult. Believe me, it’s better to look less cool in the mountains themselves, but then it’s very cool to look like those who returned from them alive.
It’s worthwhile to dwell on avalanche sensors (beeper), because under this rather common name there are several types of devices that are very different in usefulness.
The most useless is the passive reflector, wildly advertised by manufacturers of ski clothing. The sense from him is literally zero, but he, without the consent of the buyer, is sewn into many branded jackets, than only without any sense they increase their price. It is generally believed that such a reflector can somehow protect you from an avalanche. No, he cannot protect from an avalanche, since only a TV can watch you from an avalanche, which you will watch instead of a trip to the mountains.