Avalanche Awareness For Snowmobilers Colorado snowmobiling can be the most fun you’ve ever had, but only if you play it smart and stay safe. One of the main safety concerns for Colorado snowmobiling enthusiasts is avalanches. For this reason, it’s advisable to take an avalanche safety awareness course before you ride. A major red flag for a potential avalanche is recent avalanches in the area. If there are new avalanches, it means the possibility of more. Colorado snowmobiling near recent avalanche activity is ill-advised, as the snow conditions surrounding the area are most likely unstable for Vail snowmobile tours. Other signs that the snow is unstable are if you hear cracking sounds or see cracks near you on a Vail snowmobiling tour. If you see snow collapsing or hear whumping noises, be alert and prepared to turn back. These avalanche signals warn that Colorado snowmobiling should be avoided. Before heading out on a Vail snowmobile tour, check the weather conditions and avalanche reports. After a heavy snowfall, riders are anxious to get out for some Colorado snowmobiling, but the first 24 hours after heavy rain or snow are when snowpack is most unstable. Taking Vail snowmobile rentals out on the first beautiful day after a snowstorm means being extra alert and cautious. The leeward side of slopes is the most dangerous. When Colorado snowmobiling, riders can easily trigger soft slabs of windblown snow that have accumulated. If hard slabs have formed on the leeward side, they can be as dense as slabs of concrete. Always use caution when taking a Vail snowmobile rental on leeward slopes. Look for evidence of avalanches on Vail snowmobile tours and avoid venturing into those areas. Another prime danger time for Colorado snowmobiling is when the temperature rises rapidly or it gets very warm. This causes snow to begin to slip downhill making it unstable. Even when it has been perfect Colorado snowmobiling weather for weeks, there may still be weak layers that are buried within snowpack. There isn’t a good way to identify this particular problem, so it’s always a good idea to check the Avalanche Advisory before taking a Vail snowmobile tour to know what areas to avoid. To identify an avalanche area look for aspect, slope angle, trigger points, and terrain traps. Carrying a compass while Colorado snowmobiling will help you figure out which way a slope faces. Also look for cornices and sun or shade on the slope as indicators to the slope’s safety for a Vail snowmobile tour. Check the slope incline with an inclinometer to determine if it’s over 30 degrees. Most avalanches occur on slopes between 35 and 50 degrees. A 35-50 degree slope above you can make your Vail snowmobile tour just as vulnerable.