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Fact or Fiction: Surviving an Avalanche
by Staff
The popular vision of avalanches is one of deadly unpredictability, but that's not totally true. Avalanches are deadly, but there are steps you can take to avoid causing one -- and they are possible to survive if you're prepared. Would you know what to do if an avalanche is hurtling toward you?

Most deadly avalanches come out of nowhere -- there's really no way to predict them.

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Most avalanches start on 35- to 45-degree slopes.

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If you're skiing in an avalanche-prone area, one partner should always ski above the other for greater visibility.

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Testing snowpack stability is a job for professionals -- don't try to figure out avalanche probabilty yourself.

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Avalanche beacons are available, but they're not that useful in most situations.

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Most avalanche victims survive if they get out within 45 minutes.

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If you're buried, you'll be able to live for about 18 minutes.

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The main causes of avalanche-related fatalities are physical trauma and hypothermia.

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If an avalanche is coming up behind you while you're skiing, you should try to outski it.

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If you're trying to escape an avalanche, keep your mouth open so you can get as much air as you can.

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You realize that you can't escape the avalanche. The first thing you should do is get rid of your skis.

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If you're on a snowmobile, you should get off of it, but keep it near you.

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As the avalanche approaches, cup your hand around your mouth and nose.

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When the snow stops, try to make your way to the surface with a swimming motion.

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Call for help constantly -- you never know when rescuers will be near.

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When you breathe under the snow, your warm breath refreezes the snow into a more solid ice that oxygen can't get through.

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Avalanche victims can get carbon dioxide poisoning from rebreathing their exhaled air.

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There's a device called the AvaLung that can give you extra oxygen in the event of an avalanche.

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Wearing an inflatable vest could help you stay closer to the top of a moving avalanche.

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An avalanche probe is an electronic device that helps you find buried victims.

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