Avalanche Problems Explained
The Avalanche Danger is a broad brushstroke of daily conditions.
Avalanche Problems are an extension of the Danger Scale and use four factors to give a more nuanced description of the days avalanche conditions:
- the type of potential avalanche
- the location of that avalanche in the terrain
- the likelihood of triggering it
- the potential size of the avalanche
Type of Avalanche Problem: Avalanches have a wide variety of personalities. Avalanche specialists in the United States use nine distinct ‘types’ to describe the days avalanche conditions.
Avalanche Problems are:
- Storm snow (Storm slab)
- Loose dry
- Wind slab
- Persistent slab
- Deep slab
- Loose wet
- Wet slab
- Glide slab
Avalanche Problems have become a mainstay, not only for forecast centers but also for avalanche education throughout North America. Among professionals, it is widely agreed that the type of avalanche conditions determines one’s choice of terrain. Many of our users are only beginning to understand this concept. Therefore, we seek to expand the current descriptions by adding terrain management advice specific to each of the nine Problems.
Travel Advice for Avalanche Problems
Terrain Management Metrics
Avalanche Danger Scale
Avalanche Problem, Avalanche Encyclopedia from Avalanche.org.
Avalanche Problem Toolbox, Utah Avalanche Center.
By Wendy Wagner and Drew Hardesty.
From Proceedings, International Snow Science Workshop, Banff, 2014.
Public forecasting tool designed to communicate travel advice specific to each of the established Avalanche Problems.
Read the original paper: “Travel Advice for the Avalanche Problems: A Public Forecasting Tool” (PDF)
(Content on this page comes from the resources listed above.)