Canadian Avalanche Danger Descriptors 1996/97
Danger Level Avalanche Probability and Avalanche Trigger Recommended Action in Back Country
What Why What To Do
LOW Natural avalanches very unlikely. Human triggered avalanches unlikely. Travel is generally safe. Normal caution advised.
MODERATE Natural avalanches unlikely. Human triggered avalanches possible. Use caution in steeper terrain on certain aspects
CONSIDERABLE Natural avalanches possible. Human triggered avalanches probable. Be increasingly cautious in steeper terrain.
HIGH Natural and human triggered avalanches likely. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended. Safest travel on windward ridges or lower angle slopes without steeper terrain above.
EXTREME Widespread natural or human triggered avalanches certain. Travel in avalanche terrain should be avoided and confined to low angle terrain, well away from avalanche path runouts.

Avalanches don't happen by accident, and most human involvement is a matter of choice, not chance. Most avalanche accidents are caused by slab avalanches which are triggered by the victim or a member of the victim's party. However, any avalanche may cause injury or death and even small slides may be dangerous. Hence, always practice safe route finding skills, be aware of changing conditions, and carry avalanche rescue gear. Learn and apply avalanche terrain analysis and snow stability evaluation techniques to help minimize your risk. Remember that avalanche danger rating levels are only general guidelines. Distinctions between geographic areas, elevations, slope aspects and slope angles are approximate and transition zones between dangers exist.

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Last updated December 31, 1997