We've all seen the cartoons. A scimpy scallywag decides to sing a song and abracadabra - down comes enough snow to bury the pyramids.
Of course, half the fun of hitting the mountains is in letting off steam - you don't come here to go and hide away in a cave (unless you're a troglodyte or your name's Gollum). But if you're out and about, remembering a few basic safety precautions is paramount. The bald facts of the matter remain that there are accidents every year. So when it comes to the ancient threat of the avalanche, here are a few basic tips.
First things first. If you're about to go out, ask a local what their thoughts are on the conditions. Many families have lived here for centuries so they know a thing or two about what's what. (We should add here that this doesn't stop the odd fellow from falling asleep in the snow after drinking too much on a Friday night.... so while we remember, never take a nap in the snow, no matter how good the vodka!)
Here are some more basic avalanche precautions:
Naturally enough, all areas above the woodland are the most high risk places.
And generally speaking, if snow is falling especially heavily, there's always a risk of a spontaneous avalanche.
Likewise, if the temperature rises unexpectedly whilst the sun is shining on a steep snowy slope, there's a high risk.
When things get really dicey, there are often official avalanche alerts, in which case all access to the mountains is forbidden.
If snow appears to collapse in a broad area around you
Winds are piling up disproportionate amounts of snow on certain slopes
If you see any evidence of recent collapses of snow
Finally there are the basic no nos. Don't do Tarzan impressions or generally make a racket up high in the slopes. And don't climb on snow-overhangs.
After all that, we don't want to unnecessarily worry you. Remember, there are alaways Tatra official Mountain Guides who are on hand to put you in the picture and provide you with assistance.
Ogrodegorki from Poland Reply
Those avalanche precautions are very good.But mostly think more than twice before skiing in fresh snow down the hill, as you may not only risk yours but also other people's life.It is like safety on the road but not too many people think that theid bad endeavour may carry out somes risk to others.Thank for the warning Zakopane-life.Stall of Ogrodygorskie(26 very comfy apartments in Zakopane)
Gerald from United States Reply
good job zakopane
sanyo from United States Reply
from United Kingdom Reply
helped lots for poster ta!
Maddy from Canada Reply
Needs to have much more information
kid project from United States Reply
there's some information but not much. only part of it i will use.
Istvan from Hungary Reply
Ok here's a little info, read it, than take an avalanche safety course, oh and buy all the necessary equipment. wwwdotfsavalanchedotorg
marlow from The Bahamas Reply
boring doesn't tell you anything
kurt from Australia Reply
u really need to add here NEVER TO GO ALONE IN THE BACKCOUNTRY!!
mr.pie from United States Reply
Helpful for my school project!
Gilbert Corbiere from Canada Reply
moz from Australia Reply
Random kid from United States Reply
Great for my school project!
lala from Algeria Reply
Amy from United States Reply
uLot need to put more specific avalanches on coz i reaallliii need it for a project Pleaaseee! xox
callum from Canada Reply
I need info for a project
nate h from United States Reply
is ther a solution for avalanches cause i need one for a project and maybe some info if u could please
rick from Australia Reply
when and were was the last avalanche and what time it struck????
taylor from United States Reply
can u tell when the last avalncheb was
massie from Canada Reply
im doing a reserch project on avalanches. do you have any good information?