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North American Public Avalanche Danger Scale

Avalanche danger is determined by the likelihood, size and distribution of avalanches.
Danger Level

Travel Advice

Likelihood of Avalanches Avalanche Size and Distribution
5 Extreme avalanche extreme Avoid all avalanche terrain. Natural and human- triggered avalanches certain. Large to very large avalanches in many areas.
4 High avalanche extreme Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended. Natural avalanches likely; human- triggered avalanches very likely. Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
3 Considerable considerable avalanche risk Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential. Natural avalanches possible; human- triggered avalanches likely. Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.
2 Moderate moderate avalanche risk Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern. Natural avalanches unlikely; human- triggered avalanches possible. Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
1 Low low avalanche risk Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features. Natural and human- triggered avalanches unlikely. Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
Safe backcountry travel requires training and experience. You control your own risk by choosing where, when and how you travel.
Parks Canada strongly recommends that the general public avoid areas where the avalanche danger rating is HIGH or EXTREME. Any travel in these areas should be restricted to Simple terrain or kept within the boundaries of a ski resort.