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Adventure Magazine

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The Adventurer's Handbook
30 Crucial Skills, Nifty Tips, and Shameless Shortcuts
By Robert Earle Howells

How to Avoid an Avalanche

Yes, you've checked the avalanche report; yes, you're carrying a beacon and shovel; and, yes, you and your companions have practiced avalanche rescue. But still . . . before dropping into that backcountry bowl, says Bruce Tremper, of the [U.S.] Forest Service's Utah Avalanche Center, look at the surface of the snow.

If it seems rough and sandblasted, the pack is eroded and probably safe. But if you see a smooth, rounded slope, it could signal a dangerous wind slab—where gusts have piled on additional layers of snow—and you should head down elsewhere.

Next Tip: How to Avoid Blisters >>

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•  Introduction
How to
•  Avoid an Avalanche
•  Avoid Blisters
•  Beach a Kayak
•  Bike Up Steep Trails
•  Build a Fire When It's Wet
•  Climb Higher
•  Cross a River on Foot
•  Fight Altitude Sickness
•  Find Your Way
•  Fix Gear in the Field
•  Haggle for Anything
•  Hike Lighter
•  Keep Warm on Frigid Hikes
•  Leave (Absolutely) No Trace
•  Make Tastier Backcountry Grub
•  Melt Snow to Drink
•  Paddle With Power
•  Predict the Weather
•  Put on Your Skis
•  Run Off-Road
•  See More Fish When Diving
•  Ski Faster
•  Slide Down an Icy Slope
•  Slip a Bribe
•  Stick to the Rock
•  Swim Rapids
•  Swing a Machete
•  Take Better Photos
•  Telemark for Real
•  Wipe Out on a Bike
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January/February 2002:
In the Magazine | Excerpts | Adventurer's Handbook | Sierra Ski Photos | Grand Canyon | Deadly Conservationist | Forum | Snowboard Boots, Bindings | Travel Tools | Everglades Guide

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