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Avalanche awareness info
Submitted by Jane Dudley on Tue, 17/04/2012 - 22:37
I hope everyone is enjoying the study break, and having fun as well as studying :-) Well, winter is coming and with every occasional icy gust of air all the fun of the snow season draws closer. I was having a conversation about avalanches the other day, so I just thought I would share some links if people are at all planning on getting out into the snow this winter.
As well as doing avalanche awareness courses (really everyone should do one before they go out into the back country - anything away from the ski fields), there are some good books and resources that also help. Learning transceiver practise is an emergency response. It's very important, and AUTC has lots of great avo gear, so don't venture onto the snow without it! But good decision making helps to stop you and your trip companions getting in an avalanche in the first place: assessing weather and snow conditions, and make safe route choices, backing off when you need to and so on.
One book I really recommend reading is:
Avalanche awareness in the New Zealand back country by Penny Goddard
Its currently available at the Uni library: GENERAL LIBRARY New Zealand & Pacific Level G (551.57848 G57 )
There are also six copies currently available at Auckland libraries:
http://search.aucklandlibraries.govt.nz/?q=penny goddard avalanche awareness in the nz backcountry&refx=&uilang=en
Its a great book because it is very readable, written for New Zealand conditions, and is a very practical guide on the types of avalanches, ways to test the snow pack, times to avoid the snow all together, good route selection and lots of other great things.
Another useful tool is signing up to the Avalanche.net newsletter: http://www.avalanche.net.nz/ When the snow season starts you can get useful weekly updates of the avalanche risk in the back country.
Yay! Have fun!