Various conditions have to be fulfilled to facilitate the formation of an avalanche. A slab avalanche cannot occur unless a weak layer covered by a slab-like sheet of snow exists over a sufficiently large area, unless the terrain is steep enough (> 30°), or in the absence of an additional load capable of triggering the initial failure.
Some simple rules that can be applied when assessing the avalanche danger:
- Fresh snow + wind = avalanche danger
- Rapid and significant warming of the snow to around 0° = short-term increase in avalanche danger
- Alarm signs indicate a danger of avalanches.
- The steeper and shadier the slope, the greater the danger.
- Taking control of your safety is an even more critical factor than the avalanche itself – around 90% of all avalanches that occur during tours and other off-piste activities are triggered by people.
Our interactive prevention platform White Risk is a source of extensive knowledge on determining factors in the formation of avalanches (chargeable content).
- Fresh snow/rain
- Slope incline
- Altitude zone/topography
- Human factors