Facing an Avalanche and Preventing Hypothermia


Summary: If you survive an avalanche, you might get killed by hypothermia. Therefore, you need to know the techniques of combating both.

Remote and faraway places have always tickled man’s imagination. Their thirst for adventure has led them to distant places unknown to the urban world. Doing so, they have discovered innumerable nature’s treasure and held them close to their heart. Modern technology and equipment have made travel easier even to places held to be unreachable in the past. Be it a snow-capped mountain or the interiors of an ocean bed; today we can go almost anywhere. But dangers lurk and we got to be careful. Here we discuss about possible measures to survive an avalanche and protect ourselves from dangerous Hypothermia.

Here comes the avalanche…
Caught in an avalanche? Try and grab an immovable object with all your might. Let the snow pass. Chances are you won’t be buried alive; using a swimming or a rolling motion, work your way on to the side of the flow. Do not forget to keep your mouth and your nose wrapped with a sweater while you continue with your rolling motion. The moment you come to a stop, try and create air space. Put your hands in front of your face and fold your arms to create air space. This saves you for sure.

This you do when the snow has already come to a halt. Try and fold your arms in front your face as well as your chest. Spit out snow inside your mouth. Move one hand up to check if you can feel the air. This will help you dig out of the trap. Try digging with your hand only after you have kept a lot of breath inside. Conserve energy; you would need it in oodles. If you are spending a lot of time in the mountains, always carry avalanche beacons that are portable, small transceivers. They are really helpful.

Fight Hypothermia
The only protection against Hypothermia is prevention. Do not allow your body temperature to go below 95°F. Make sure you are insulated from the ground. Replace anything wet around you or in touch with your body. Keep your environment dry. Cover your head as a third of the body heat is lost through the head. Drink something warm. Get into your sleeping bag and cuddle up. Generally the victim is not able to do any of these things alone. He would need help. DO not allow the victim to fall asleep. Keep talking to him.

Best of Luck!