Videos for backcountry recreationists

The videos on this page posted since ~2015 are by Bruce Jamieson ( and colleagues. Some of the earlier videos on this page are links to videos made by Bruce Jamieson and ASARC colleagues ( The links to all these videos can be shared freely and the videos used for any purpose, including commercially, provided the content and authorship are not altered.

A more visual method for rating avalanche size on the D-scale

A video to start discussion about whether visualization will help us rate avalanche size on the D-scale. By Bruce Jamieson, Montse Bacardit, Ethan Greene and Ian Tomm. May 2020

Avalanche decision aids - the good, the bad and the disruptive

This video outlines some general advantages and disadvantages of avalanche decision aids. The video does not explain how to use any decision aids but does show four decision aids and identify where to find more information on them. Bruce Jamieson, Pascal Haegeli, and Mike Conlan, 2020, CC BY-ND.

9 essentials for ski cutting - for the Powder Cloud

Ski cutting by recreationists is controversial. Are these 9 essentials too conservative? Too risky? Or is the topic taboo? Bruce Jamieson, Feb. 2020.

6 tips for reducing avalanche risk ... for The Powder Cloud

In this seven-minute video, Jamieson shares six tips that he believes can reduce the avalanche risk while skiing and riding in the mountains in winter. Jan. 2020.

Fracture character in compression tests

This video for advanced recreationists and practitioners identifies the five types of fracture character and shows the frequency of skier triggering on slopes that exhibited each type of fracture character in compression tests. The frequency of skier triggering is also presented for each type of fracture character separately for easy, moderate and hard taps. Bruce Jamieson,, 2011, CC BY-ND.

Common snowpack instability tests, by Mike Conlan

A brief how-to for common snowpack tests to locate and assess instabilities within the snowpack, presented by Mike Conlan ( CC BY-ND. Start times of tests in this video are as follows:

  1:32  Compression Test
  5:06  Deep Tap Test
  7:28  Extended Column Test
10:54  Rutschblock Test
14:48  Propagation Saw Test
18:48  Shovel Shear Test
20:49  Hand Shear Test
22:11  Concluding remarks on initiation, propagation, and limitations.

Yellow flags for snow profile interpretation

This video summarizes an objective way of assessing a snow profile - whether or not the snow is likely to be skier triggered. Most of the calibration data came from the Columbia Mountains of western Canada.

To read the paper behind this video, click here. To read McCammon and Schweizer's paper on lemons, click here. Bruce Jamieson and Juerg Schweizer, 2015,, CC BY-ND.

Backcountry Avalanche Awareness - now an updated e-book

Promo for the new e-book edition of Backcountry Avalanche Awareness (36 seconds).

Case study of facets-on-crust in western Canada

A case study for avalanche practitioners about a difficult winter in which a weak layer of facets on a melt-freeze crust produced avalanches - including many large hard-to-forecast avalanches - throughout the winter. CC BY-ND.

Considerable avalanche danger: How much riskier is it?

Based on an ISSW 2009 paper by Bruce Jamieson, Juerg Schweizer and Cora Shea, the presentation uses an event tree, an expert survey of triggering odds, Canadian Accident data and some large assumptions to calculate the risk of death for a day of backcountry skiing at each of the levels of regional avalanche danger. The backcountry skiing risks are compared with the risks for a day of kayaking, a day of rock climbing and a day of mountaineering. During Considerable avalanche danger, backcountry skiing risk is about 10 times higher than when the avalanche danger is Moderate. video. CC BY-ND.

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