Avalanche safety tips

The mountain is extremely beautiful during the winter season, but sometimes it hides unexpected dangers. When there is snow in the mountain, there is always an avalanche danger.

Avalanche safety tips

The mountain is extremely beautiful during the winter season, but sometimes it hides unexpected dangers. When there is snow in the mountain, there is always an avalanche danger.

There are hazardous avalanche conditions in almost all of the mountains in Bulgaria between December and March. Pirin is the most avalanche dangerous mountain in Bulgaria with the biggest number of constant avalanches.

In almost all of the circus, the highest parts and the valleys of the Banderitsa, Demyanitsa, Bela river, Vlahinska, Bezbozhka, Bauvi dupki, Razlozhki and Banski Suhodol an detc there is a constant risk of avalanche during the winter.  

Some days the steep slopes are safe, some days they are unstable. 90% of avalanche victims die in slides triggered by themselves or a member of their group.

After 35 minutes, a buried victim has only a 27 % of survival.

Always be alert in case of:
1. Recent avalanches;
2. Signs of unstable snow as you travel;
3. Heavy snowfall or rain the past 24 hours;
4. Wind blown snow;
5. Significant warming or rapidly increasing temperatures;
6. Persistent weak layers;

Types of avalanche
The Dry Powder Avalanche is most common in cold and dry conditions especially after a fresh snow fall. It becomes even more common after a fall of 2cm or more. The snow ride up on a cushion of air and so become airborne travelling in excess of 100mph a blast wave will be heading up the avalanche.

The Hard Slab Avalanche formed if there is a combination of strong winds of more than 30 mph and a very cold temperature. This one is the most unassuming but deadly of avalanches. It appears solid to skiers travelling over it. The slab can be covered with fresh snow and eventually release itself in one piece but then breaks up into huge chunks of snow and ice. Usually detected by sudden local subsidence and dull booming noises.

If caught in an Avalanche
In most avalanche situations, any defensive action is very difficult. Movement relative to the debris is often impossible. However, some of the following may be useful:

- Try to delay departure by plunging an ice axe into the undersurface. This may help to keep you near the top of the slide.
- Shout. Others may see you.
- Try to run to the side, or jump up-slope above the fracture
- If hard slab, try to remain on top of a block.
- Get rid of gear; sacks, skis etc.
- Try to roll like a log, off the debris.
- Swimming motions sometimes help.
- As the avalanche slows down, you may be able to get some purchase on the debris. Make an effort to get to the surface, or at least get a hand through.

If buried:
- Keep one hand in front of you face and try to clear/maintain an air space. 
- Try to maintain space for chest expansion by taking and holding a deep breath. 
- Try to avoid panic and conserve energy. Your companions are probably searching for you. 

Avalanche rescue: 
If you witness an avalanche burial:
- Observe the victim's progress and if possible mark the point of entry and point at which last seen.
- Check for further avalanche danger. 
- Make a QUICK SEARCH of the debris surface.
- Look for any signs of victims.
- Listen for any sounds. 
- Probe the most likely burial spots. 
- Make a Systematic search, probing the debris with axes or poles. 
- Send for Help. 
- Keep searching until help arrives. 
- REMEMBER you are the buried victim's only real chance of live resque.

Although survival chances decline rapidly with duration of burial, they do not reach zero for a long time.

  • Liz From England
    Sent on 19 November 2017
    I went with my daughter January 2018. I was a cheap half board flights included and we wasn’t expecting much.... but what a fantastic week we had!! Stayed at the Lion hotel which is about a 10-15 minute walk to the slopes/town. A free shuttle is provide by the hotel. The hotel and staff are lovely. The food was always varied and hot. My daughter and I are vegetarians and in only two nights were we disappointed with the choice - but we heaped up on pudding so didn’t go hungry. Am lucky enough to be going back in 2018.
  • val From United Kingdom
    Sent on 15 February 2017
    group of us just back from borovets.we arrived 4th feb 2017 and departed 11th feb.had a great time.hotel rila was fab.great gym and spa.food was good.ski school was great.we had a really good instructor Martin Hristov.he was really good with everyone took time to try and learn everyone.we all had a great time thankyou.will be back next yearx
  • Alison From England
    Sent on 15 January 2017
    I wonder if the poor review is really about the Winslow Elegance. We have been going for years. It does not serve food and never has done. However, the spacious accommodation is for self-catering. We have always found it to be clean and we have always found that the reception staff can not do enough for you. We are looking forward to our next visit in February, 2017, Bring it on!!
  • RobJ From UK
    Sent on 01 January 2017
    Had a great week over xmas there - Hotel Lion was great, didn't see any lift queues but I did get there early. Easy blues for the most part, not loads for the advanced skier but great for beginners and families. I had more fun here than Chamonix last year at the same time. Bottom line ...manage your expectations... it is more than value for money but don't expect Whistler.
  • Pepa From Madrid
    Sent on 24 August 2016
    Un citio presioso pero todo lo demas mentira.la comida,el personal muy mal.No lo recomiendo a nadie.Es una publicidad engañosa.Y de All inclusive nada.No se dejen engañar por las paginas web.Por desgracia en Bulgaria todavia el consumidor no es nadie.
  • Juglena Bankova From Bulgaria
    Sent on 13 May 2016
    Nie byakhme tam na Velikden i pisha malko kŭsno. No vpechatleniata sa ni poveche ot prekrasni! Velikolepna kuhnia (ne savetvat jenite na dieta, da hodiat za poveche ot tri dni, zashtoto yastiyata sa neustoimi, vkusni i ogromni)! Great stil! I mnogo priaten personal!(osobeno damata v restoranta) Pozdravleniya !
  • ger99 From turkey
    Sent on 01 March 2015
    We loved it. Had a perfect 2 bedroom apartment modern, clean new renovated With view to slope. Perfect location in pamporovo as central ski in ski out. Friendly staff, not ovr crowded relaxed athmosphere. our friends (group with total of 7 rooms) all very happy! It is away from city center but close to bowling and 2 nice reaturans.
  • ashley hensman From uk
    Sent on 01 March 2015
    Flora is a lovely hotel clean in a great location and the food was good just make sure you use the safes.
  • Enjoy ski From UK
    Sent on 27 February 2015
    Just came back from Sevlievo in Bulgaria. Drove up to Hotel Impulse in Uzana where I hired skis, boots and poles for myself and two children for just 17 levs for adult and 10 levs each child and used the hotel ski slope 5 levs each. Perfect for the kids first time as parking right at entrance to hotel and slope is 20m walk! Food in restaurant tasty and cheap. Perfect for beginners!
  • Charlotte Hennessy From england
    Sent on 23 February 2015
    WOW, thats all i can say about the previous week of my life. The snow conditions were amazing and the people were so friendly. The night life was always active and the rila hotel was especially fantastic. I loved the accommodation at the rila and i loved the way it is right on the slope. I wouldn't have changed a thing about the holiday and i would recommend this resort to everyone including beginners and experts. Overall, i had an amazing time!!!