Meaning: a bank of snow breaking loose and sliding down the side of a mountain into the valley below.

Fast Facts:

  • main causes are unstable weather conditions, strong winds, earth tremors, explosions and skiers

  • in a dry snow avalanche powdery snow and air can move faster than 160km/h

  • in a wet snow avalanche wet dense snow moves much slower

  • in a slab avalanche a solid block of snow breaks up as it tumbles down the slope

  • sometimes to avoid danger an avalanche is artificially triggered

  • more than 50,000 people were killed in Yungay, Peru, in an avalanche cause by an earthquake (1960)

  •   An avalanche
    Image by Zacharie Grossen

    using an avalanche transceiver
    Image by Snodale

    Using an avalanche transceiver to find low-power pulsed beacon signal under the snow. Anyone wearing a beacon can be found.