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Terrain traps

Terrain traps are any terrain feature that increases the consequences of getting caught in an avalanche. For example, depressions and abrupt transitions increase the odds of a deep burial, cliffs and trees increase the odds of traumatic injuries, and gullies and canyons reduce the chances of escape. Terrain traps are a significant and often overlooked hazard. Managing risk through route finding requires a good understanding of terrain traps and how they can magnify the effects of an avalanche. Common terrain traps include:

View larger image Abrupt transition where avalanche debris can pile up, or canyon or gullies that can funnel an avalanche
View larger image Trees, cliffs, or icefall that can cause trauma to someone who is carried over or through in an avalanche
Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale