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Avalanches and Snow Slides

An avalanche happens when a layer of snow becomes loose and slides downhill. Thousands of avalanches occur every winter in the mountains and are usually triggered by people. Avalanches are caused by these four factors: a steep slope, a snow cover, a weak layer in the snow cover and a trigger such as a snowboarder or skier.

Avalanches and Snowslides - Three Main Types

  • Powder Avalanches - An increasing volume of powdered snow is thrown into the air, charging down the slope like a dense cloud. It can reach speeds of 250 mph (400 kph) and can flatten anything in its path.
  • Wet Snow Avalanches - When the temperature warms up, snow weakens and a wet snow avalanche can happen. The snow spreads as it slowly slides. Once it stops, it settles like concrete so buried victims can't move or breathe.
  • Slab Avalanches - These are the most common and are usually triggered by skiers. When layers of snow don't cling together, a trigger such as the weight and tracks of a skier or snowboarder, will cause the top layer to slide. There is little chance of escaping the moving slab as it breaks and carries a victim down the slope.

Avalanche formationAvalanche formation

Avalanches and Snowslides - Outrunning a Slide

Don't bother trying to outrun an avalanche. You won't make it. Dry slab avalanches usually cruise down a slope around 60-80 mph (97-130 kph.) They can reach these speeds about five seconds after they fracture. Wet avalanches are much slower at about 20 mph (32 kph) but it's still a miracle to outrun one.

The Most Dangerous Avalanche

The most dangerous is a dry slab avalanche - it causes the most deaths. Imagine a dinner plate sliding off a table. When the plate shatters and keeps sliding, the food on the plate hardly stands a chance. The slab shatters like glass with the victim in the middle - escape is rare.

Slab AvalancheSlab Avalanche

Avalanche Facts

This usually has a lot to do with luck. But avoiding potential avalanches has to do with using your brains. Here are some avalanche facts to consider:

  • Your chances of surviving an avalanche are around 80% if you use/carry the proper equipment (beacons, shovel, probes, etc.).
  • Without proper equipment your survival chances are less than three percent.
  • Check the conditions and the slope stability before skiing or boarding in avalanche territory.
  • Skiing or boarding out of bounds increases your chances of being caught in a snow slide.
  • If you're caught in an avalanche, swim with the avalanche to try and stay on top.
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Who Can Outrun an Avalanche?

  • Road Runner can outrun an avalanche.
  • Speedy Gonzales can outrun any avalanche.
  • Tazmanian Devil would escape, even if he had to dig.
  • I could outrun an avalanche.

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MirandaPanda205
July 9th
reply 9 minutes
IlikeGUYS20
"jordand08" wrote:December When???? Mines the tenth!!!
reply about 3 hours
simran88
simran88 posted in Say Anything:
@AlphaT  You've posted on behalf of everyone else. In their style. XD Now no one needs to post. God bless you for ending a thread in which everyone would post the same opinion and say the same thing. XD
reply about 10 hours
ThePaleWalker636
I found the greatest riddle ever (credits to Ted-Ed), and I want to see if anyone can solve it without looking up the answer. THE RIDDLE OF THE ALIEN OVERLORDS. You and your team have crashed-landed on an ancient planet. The only way off is to appease its three alien overlords, TEE, EFF, and ARR, by giving them the correct artifacts. Unfortunately, you don't know who is who. From an inscription, you learn that you may ask three yes or no questions, each addresses to any one lord. Tee's answers are always true. Eff's answers are always false.  And Arr's answers are random. But, there's a problem. You've deciphered the language enough to ask any question, but you don't know which of the two words 'ozo' and 'ulu' means yes, and which means no. How can you still figure out which alien is which?
reply about 11 hours
CRCardinal
Fear: The Emotion of Death   You can't see me, But I'm there. I'm in your tears, I'm everywhere. I stalk you in your shadow, So stealthy and no slack. I'm made of dark matter, You better watch your back. You can hear me, I'm your beating heart. Inside is emptiness, Tearing you apart. You shiver and shake, At the sound of my name. I engulf you, drown you, Surround you with shame.   I've seen destruction, More than anyone. I'm darker than, The world with no sun. The agony arises, There's so much red. Most of it coming, From the dead. I become your shadow, I'm a terrible sight. And when you see me, You're frozen with fright. I'll grab you by your neck, You'll be thrashing around. You're crying, shrieking, Until there's no sound.   I feel so sad, So empty, so. . . Alone. So you'll feel the same, You'll be on your own. And as long as you are with me, At the point of no return. You will go crazy. You'll crash and burn.   Then you understand, With your slowing of breath. That I am Fear, The Emotion of Death.
reply about 13 hours