What are the odds of surviving an avalanche?

30% of people buried completely by avalanches are killed by trauma.

If you are not killed by trauma, suffocation and hypothermia are your biggest concerns.

You can sometimes swim through flowing snow, but when it comes to a rest, it packs itself as hard as a rock. The pressure of the snow packing itself will squeeze the air out of your lungs. You can NOT free yourself if you are completely buried.

  • If you are freed within 15 minutes, you have a 90% chance of surviving.

  • If you are freed within 30 minutes, your odds are down to 50%.

  • If you are buried more than 6 feet deep, your odds are almost 0%. It is unlikely that your friends can dig you out in time.

The only chance your buried friends have of surviving is for YOU to rescue them. Don't go for help unless you're sure they're dead, because they will be by the time you get back.