A technique for managing loose snow avalanche problems while descending a steep slope.

Credit: Crested Butte Avalanche Center

While you may envision sluff management like a pro skier outrunning their sluff in the movies, most of us mortals require a slower and more deliberate technique. Sluff management involves skiing or riding off of the fall line. That means making a turn and traversing away from it before your next turn, so that any moving loose snow will sluff down the slope without overtaking you.  Pause if your sluff is getting to large or to let your sluff pass if you need to change direction. The consequences of getting caught in your sluff increase on bigger slopes or above terrain traps; thus, you should be experienced and comfortable with this technique if conditions warrant sluff management in that type of terrain. 

A snowboarder lets his sluff pass while riding off fall line to his left. Credit: Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Sluff management involves deliberate pauses and/or riding consistently in one direction so that you don’t get hit from behind. Credit: Crested Butte Avalanche Center