Thinking about hitting the slopes this winter? Want to get past the beaten path? Many beginners dream about powdery snow, flying down mountains on skis or snowboards, and so much more. There’s a lot of different things that you can explore when you’re hitting mountain tops. If you’re extreme and you want to explore more than just the bunny slopes, then the following tips and tricks are going to help you. These are things that will help you stay safe just in case you have to face off against an avalanche, which could be deadly.

Know What These Are

The first thing that you need to do is simple, look at the weather conditions. Not just the cold weather, not just the snowfall, but avalanche condition risks. You will need to ask around, look online, get an app, and do your due diligence in regard to the mountain range that you’re going to be going towards. It’s imperative that you know how steep slopes are, and how close to ridges you may be.

Pack Appropriately

If you’re going to go backcountry, if you’re going to test the limits, you need to have an emergency kit with you. You need a shovel, a probe, a small oxygen tank, and you’ll need emergency elements that may keep you warm and safe. You will need a backpack, and get used to it being on your back, and easy to open. You could get caught up fast, so you’ll need quick reflexes to ensure that you’re out. Traveling alone is not recommended, but hey, if you’re going to traverse extremes, be prepared with emergency kit elements.

What If You’re Caught Up?

The next thing that you should know is that you may get caught up. You need to not panic. According to National Geographic, and other resources, you should focus on swimming upwards away from the bottom if possible. Swimming to the surface, and grabbing a tree or anything heavy is a good option to consider. If that’s not possible, you’ll need to rely on your emergency kit and shovel to dig yourself out.

Aside from these tips above, you should focus on electronic communication. Make sure that someone knows you’re on the mountain, and check in during runs, etc. If there’s an emergency, send out a signal and ask for help. Use your emergency kit to help yourself in the meantime, and don’t travel alone if you can avoid it.

Know the 5 Red Flags