Snow Sense


A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalanche Hazard

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“If you travel in the mountains, you understand that knowledge equated to safety. Snow Sense is your source of unparalleled wisdom. It could save your life.”
– Conrad Anker, Professional alpine climber and author


This Book is intended for anyone who travels, works, or plays in avalanche country anywhere in the world. Our Goal is to help back country travelers learn to recognize, evaluate, and avoid potential snow avalanches.

A snow avalanche is a mass of snow moving downhill that may also contain ice, soil, rocks, or other debris. Because most avalanche accidents involving recreationists result from human-triggered slab releases, the focus of Snow Sense is on slab avalanches.

Avalanches do not happen by accident; they occur only at certain times, in certain places, and for particular reasons. We strongly believe that the majority of avalanche accidents can be avoided by learning to integrate and heed vital pieces of information. Snow Sense provides a framework for evaluating avalanche hazard. It is not a substitute for field experience. If you want to learn about dragons, you need to go to the den of the dragon – but sometimes a dragon book helps.

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Jill Fredston & Doug Fesler


Alaska Mountain Safety Center



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