Spring has hit New York State with the usual 70 degrees one day and 39 degrees the next. We have come to expect this but what if the sudden changes caused life threatening situations.

With milder temps you might be tempted to hike the trails or maybe get in some late season skiing and snowboarding. If you hear a 'WHUMPH' sound, it's about to get scary.

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The New York State DEC is asking you to BEWARE! If you find yourself in the woods, especially in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks and you hear 'WHUMPF', you could be in danger of an avalanche!

This never happens in New York right? Wrong! Last month 2 skiers survived an avalanche in North Elba, NY. According to an article from WGNA , both skiers were swept up in the avalanche and carried as far as 150 feet.

YouTube.com-The New York Times
YouTube.com-The New York Times

The DEC explains that mild temperatures, rain, high wind and thaws increase the potential of an avalanche. If you are going hiking in the backcountry or doing some downhill skiing, snowboarding or just visiting be aware of possible avalanche!

On March 11th DEC Forest Rangers recovered a body buried under 4 feet of snow. This individual was climbing Mount Colden and never returned. Evidence points to avalanche as the possible cause of death.

YouTube.com-The New York Times
YouTube.com-The New York Times

How do you know if you are in danger of an avalanche?

  • Fresh avalanches are the best clue
  • Snow that cracks, collapses, or makes hollow sounds is unstable
  • Snow that has become wet from thaw or rain can be dangerous

If you do get caught in an avalanche, here are some tips:

    • Remember that only one of three victims buried without a beacon survives.
    • Try to escape to the side
    • Grab a tree or rock

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