4. Where do avalanches occur?

An avalanche typically occurs in mountainous terrain. Slopes flatter than 28 degrees or steeper than 55 degrees typically have a lower incidence of avalanche occurrence; likewise slopes with windward and sunny exposure have a lower incidence of avalanche hazard.

Generally, causes of avalanche formation can be found within 7 sets of factors (EVALUATION of all these factors is always required in snow avalanche prediction):

  • Slope inclination
  • Snowpack conditions
  • Wind action
  • Slope direction
  • Temperature
  • Weak snow layers
  • Ground surface conditions