Decision Making

This page offers detailed background information for some of the main sections covered in “Decision Making in Avalanche Terrain: a field book for winter backcountry users” by Pascal Haegeli, Roger Atkins and Karl Klassen. Some of these documents are still in development, so please check in frequently to make sure you have the latest and most up-to-date information.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions. Your feedback will help us to further improve our products. Please select Your feedback in the menu on the left side of this page.

Decision Making In Avalache Terrain

There is much more to decision making in avalanche terrain than can be covered in a field book. This document presents a detailed discussion of decision making by highlighting the parallels between the processes of a professional mountain guide and a recreationists.

  • In development

Avalanche Problem Essentials

The following documents contain detailed descriptions of the different avalanche problems. For each of the eight avalanche problems, we describe the typical conditions that lead to the development of the avalanche problem, examine the associated avalanche activity patterns, discuss how to best recognize and assess this condition in the field, and highlight effective risk management strategies.

Snowpack Test Essentials

Snow profiles can help you to better understand the snowpack, particularly the development of persistent instabilities. However, using this information to assess snow stability is a complex subject. This document provides a detailed discussion of the value and limitation of snow profiles for decision making in avalanche terrain

  • In development

How to Use the Daily Trip Form

A detailed description of how to use the daily trip form including a guide to the abbreviations can be found on pages 14 and 15 of the field book. This document provides more detailed explanations of the various observations and terms used in the daily trip forms.

Calling for Outside Help

Pages 60 – 62 of the field book provide a quick reference for how to best call outside help if you end up in an emergency situation in the backcountry. The following document provides a more in-depth discussion of different means to make contact, what information to communicate, and what type of response you can expect when that call is made.

Selected Background Readings

This document offers a selected list of useful background readings related to topics covered in this field book.

related links

related attachments

  • Avalanche Problem Essentials - Loose Snow Avalanches

    download
  • Avalanche Problem Essentials - Wet Slabs

    download
  • Avalanche Problem Essentials - Cornices

    download
  • Avalanche Problem Essentials - Wind Slabs

    download
  • Avalanche Problem Essentials - Storm Slabs

    download
  • Avalanche Problem Essentials - Persistent Slabs

    download
  • Avalanche Problem Essentials - Deep Persistent Slabs

    download
  • How to Use the Daily Trip Form

    download
  • Rescue Reference - Calling for Outside Help

    download
  • References for Decisionmaking in Avalanche Terrain

    download