How to Spot Avalanche Danger: Crash Course With AIARE Forecaster

It’s not possible to prevent unstable snow. But you can significantly improve your avalanche safety by knowing how to avoid one. Learn when you’re in a high-risk zone and how to move across it most safely with Outdoor Research’s quick video.

In this brief explainer, an avi forecaster from the American Institute for Avalanche Research (AIARE) provides a crash course in avalanche terrain and covers the basic tools every backcountry traveler should carry to avoid catastrophe.

Finding the aspect of any spot on the mountain, looking for signs of a recent avalanche, understanding grade, and being aware of your location relative to the treeline are just a few of the areas covered here.

The AIARE forecaster informs us that three conditions must be present for an avalanche to exist: unstable snow, a trigger, and avalanche terrain. Removing any one of these conditions will prevent an avalanche, so knowing when you’re in avi territory is invaluable.

If you’re planning to hit the slopes this season, check it out. For more avalanche safety tips and courses, head to

Runtime: 6 minutes

Transceiver Searching 101: Brush Up Your Avalanche Safety Skills
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Jilli Cluff

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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