Slope Angle and Snow Stability - Two key factors in safe backcountry riding

Submitted by Eric Knoff on Thu, 12/22/2016 - 07:41

When venturing into the backcountry, answering these two questions is essential when assessing a slope to ride:

Is the terrain capable of producing an avalanche?


Can the snow slide?

Avalanches happen when four ingredients are present:  a slab, a weak layer, a trigger and a slope steep enough to slide. A key problem when assessing slope angle is that most slopes have varying degrees of steepness.  It is critical for riders to assess slope angle frequently.