Cracked Snow Underfoot
More than 150 people die in avalanches on an annual basis. These devastating snow slides can seem sudden, but recognise the signs and clear warnings are in place.
Listen out for the tell-tale “whump” sound when walking and always take the weather conditions into account. Significant snowfall and rains can lead to an avalanche, as can warmer temperatures. But cracked surface snow is perhaps the most effective warning sign of all and is something to always look out for.
Cracked snow underfoot indicates that the surface beneath has become structurally unsound, with a slab below the top layer that is all set to slide down the mountainside. Does the snow sound hollow? It’s time to bid a hasty retreat and head to safer ground. It is estimated that 90% of all avalanches are triggered by humans. So serious can the consequences be, you should always be on your guard and heed nature’s warning signs.