Traveling by yourself, without a partner.

Credit: Crested Butte Avalanche Center

Traveling alone greatly increases your vulnerability should you get caught in an avalanche, and thus warrants an extra conservative mindset. Self rescue is often impossible if you get buried in debris because you can’t move your arms or legs. Furthermore, if you are severely injured, unconscious, or hypothermic, you need a partner to facilitate evacuation. If you are recreating in a group, but travel too far away, out of sight, or get caught in an avalanche along with your partners, you become effectively solo because members of your group can’t respond quickly. In the past decade, roughly 45% of avalanche fatalities involved people who were either solo or “effectively solo.”