The North American Avalanche Danger Scale, a system for warning backcountry skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers of avalanche threat levels, has been revised and released for winter 2010.

Years in the making, the new system standardizes the use of icons across countries – including icons that can be understood by vising Europeans – and was intended to improve the clarity and usefulness for people headed into the backcountry.

The new scale rates the danger of avalanche at five levels, from low (“generally safe” conditions) to extreme (“avoid all avalanche terrain”).

The danger scale is available on cards that offer concise travel advice, likelihood of avalanches and avalanche size and distribution for each danger level.

The system was develop as a joint project by the Canadian government, the Canadian Avalanche Centre, the National Search and Rescue Secretariat, United State Forest Service and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

Download PDFs of the front and back of the avalanche safety cards.

Other avalanche resources:
American Avalanche Association

Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center

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