1. – Prepare your trip
EVERY MEMBER OF THE GROUP must know the kind, size and location of avalanches forecasted in the bulletin (Avalanche Advisory).
Identify on the map (or in your head) which spots are critical decision points where you will have to make choices. Anticipate to possible problems.
Prepare a more conservative Plan B.
2. – ALWAYS carry beacon, probe and shovel ………. and practice!
Do a beacon check. Every person in the group must pass the beacon check and be aware that if they fail to pass it, they will have to give up the trip.
Use a large and sturdy probe and shovel.
Train and practice throughout the winter.
Assess the possibility of purchasing extra safety gear (Avalung, avalanche airbag, radio transmitter…)
3. – Use SAFE gear
Do not wear leashes on skis nor straps on poles. You can replace leashes with brakes and, as for the straps on the poles, if you try without them you will see they are not really that necessary.
4. – Always choose the SAFEST ROUTE
There is no reason not to ALWAYS choose the safest route uphill. If necessary, break your own trail rather that entrusting yourself to the criteria of strangers.
5. – Never expose all the group at the same time
Ride on any slope over 30 degrees one at a time, keeping eye contact.
Always assemble the group at a safe spot, far from any avalanche prone slopes. Adapt your behaviour to the conditions.
6. – Always think of the consequences
It takes an expert to assess the stability, but not the consequences. Always imagine what would happen if an avalanche occurred there and the, where you are standing.
7. – Permanently reassess your decisions
Always consider what is changing in the terrain, in the snow, within the group and in yourself.
8. – Always keep a good communication within the group
Create an atmosphere in which the “cool” thing is to speak openly about our worries, from the most novice to the most experienced member.
You must make the right decisions 99.99% of the time. In order to achieve this you must leave plenty of room for the unexpected.
The mountains will not go anywhere, and the snow will be even better than today. Plus, riding is only a small part of the things that are worth in life.