DEC warning hikers about avalanche risk

Warmer weather means an added danger in certain areas of the high peaks for hikers and skiers.

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Earlier this month, a 63-year-old man died in an avalanche, buried in about four feet of snow.

Now, the Department of Environmental Conservation wants you to know what you’re in for before you get caught in a potential avalanche.

  • Only one person should be on the slope at the time.
  • Have an escape route planned.
  • Never walk out to the edge of an unscouted drop-off.
  • If it looks dangerous, find a safer route.

DEC also says if you have zero knowledge of avalanches, training, equipment, experience, don’t go.

That experience can come in the form of a trained guide who can determine if the conditions are safe and help you gain the expertise you need.

Once you have the training you need, you need to think about equipment like a transceiver or beacon to make you easier to find in an emergency.

In a last resort, if you’re buried and pulled under, try to swim and fight your way up.

Create a little air pocket around your face and mouth with your hands.

Learn more about how warm spring weather can also trigger avalanches by watching the video of Neal Estano’s story.

DIGITAL EXTRA: How a pair of skiers escaped an avalanche

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