How Avalanches Work

How do you survive an onslaught of heavy snow hurtling toward you with little warning?.
Science Channel

Avalanches can be surprising, sublimely beautiful and deadly. They can sweep trains off their tracks, crush buildings, uproot trees and bury people. Some avalanches have even covered entire houses with people still inside them. Even though movies and news reports say that they "strike without warning," most deadly avalanches start when victims trigger them.

Avalanches are a serious danger for winter sport enthusiasts. ­­­­So what do you do if you're caught in an avalanche? How can you stay alive, and what does it take to rescue people who've been buried in the snow?


In this article, you'll learn how avalanches form and what triggers them. You'll also learn how to survive and how to rescue others.­