A snowboarder has shared his experience of accidentally triggering an avalanche in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah, showing just how easily it can happen. As Ian Greenwood of winter sports site Powder notes, he appears to be riding a split board, which can be turned into skis for uphills or touring, suggesting he may be in the backcountry.
Skiing and snowboarding in the backcountry is always riskier than sticking to groomed runs, though Bridger Ball is snowboarding with a partner, which is one of the best ways to avoid disaster if you're caught in an avalanche or become trapped in a tree well.
In a video captured by his buddy's GoPro (which you can watch below), you can see just how easily loose snow can become dislodged, and how fast and far it can travel.
There's no substitute for proper avalanche training, but always beware if the weather conditions have been unstable recently, with lots of snow and big temperature swings. High winds can also create avalanche conditions.
When you're in the backcountry, always pay attention to changes in the snow beneath you, such as cracks appearing, which may indicate that a slab is about to come free. Also listen out for cracking or 'whumphing' sounds. For more advice take a look at our guide to avalanche safety.
If someone becomes buried in an avalanche, their chances of survival begin to drop rapidly after the first 15 minutes. Experts recommend always carrying an avalanche beacon, probe and shovel, and getting trained in how to use them correctly to dig a person out quickly without hurting them.
- The best avalanche beacons: emergency transceivers tested and rated
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).