Participating in outdoor winter snow sports necessitates a few precautions on the part of the participants. One area to be concerned with is avalanche awareness. Here is some information that can help you avoid avalanche dangers.

There are three main ingredients necessary for an avalanche to occur. First, the terrain must have a steeper slope than about 30 degrees. Slopes less than that aren't steep enough for an avalanche to occur.

The next ingredient involves the snow pack, or layers of snow. Some layers are strong while others are weak. The snowpack will be unstable if a strong layer rests on top of a weak layer.

The final ingredient necessary is to have something that triggers the avalanche. Extra stress on the weak layer of snow causes it to collapse, producing an avalanche. This trigger could be additional weight from a person, snowmobile, or from adding more snow.

Avalanche accidents can be avoided by following three simple practices. First, if you are near a possible avalanche area, only expose one person at a time to the danger. The other people should stay in a safe location and watch as each person crosses the area.

The next thing is to watch for signs of unstable snow. Recent avalanches indicate that there is unstable snow in the area. Watch for snow stability on similar slopes in the area.

The third practice is to make sure everyone in the group carries avalanche rescue gear. Carry this gear in a small backpack on your person, not on your snowmobile. Make sure everyone knows how to use it.

These safety tips are important for all riders to remember.