Terrain traps are features that increase the consequences of being caught in an avalanche. Terrain traps that increase the risk of physical injury include trees, rocks, cliffs, and open water. Terrain traps that increase burial depth include gullies, flat sections, and crevasses.
It is important to assess slopes for the presence of terrain traps when evaluating terrain. Even a small slope can be dangerous if it is perched above a cliff or gully.
Photo: Skiers spread out while traveling through a terrain trap on the way to Bow Hut in Banff National Park. By Jordy Shepherd