How to Move Safely on Fells and Avoid Avalanches?
- It is safer and merrier with a friend
- Walk on designated routes if possible
- Walk in a gentle slope
- Know where you walk. Read the map and use the topographic map app. In addition to the mobile phone, it is good to have a traditional paper map.
Snow consists of different layers, as the snow that has fallen at different times has a different structure. The stratified snow can cause a so-called slab avalanche. That is when one of the layers of snow cannot stay put in a steep hill any longer, and the snow mass sets in motion causing an avalanche. The snow will flow according to the terrain to where it can get and eventually accumulates in a draw, for example, making the draw a risky place.
Draws are prone to avalanches.
If you are hiking in an avalanche terrain, you should be equipped with sufficient skills, knowledge and gear. The most important means to prevent an avalanche is to avoid terrain prone to it. The majority of the avalanches resulting in death are caused by man himself, so the choice of routes has a major bearing. It is important to have a friend with you. In an avalanche terrain, it is good to have a spade with you, as well as avalanche transmitter or a beeper, and a snow scanner or probe, and a phone.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute prepares a daily avalanche forecast for Northern Finland. The forecast closest to Utsjoki is from Saariselkä. The conditions may be different but the avalanche forecast for Saariselkä is indicative of Utsjoki as well.
The Finnish Meteorological Institutes daily avalanche forecast