Analyzing the movement of snowmobiles in avalanche terrain

Analyzing the movement of snowmobiles in avalanche terrain

The good folks from Montana State University did a study analyzing the movements of snowmobilers through the backcountry. With more of us out in the beyond, it's helpful to know as much as we can about staying safe and away from avalanches. A data based study like this is really helpful.

They used the same GPS based techniques that helped the ski touring people reduce their avi risk.

Read the paper on snowmobile behavior in avalanche terrain in full by Jordy Hendrikx and Jerry Johnson.

If you want to contribute to their dataset, you can add your gps tracks here: or using the Skitracks app.

One key finding from the research is that snowmobilers are out of sight of each other far more than ski touring. That might contribute to the relatively high number of deaths as the group may not easily be able to locate a fellow rider on burial if they are not seen.

Above: tool to evaluate rider visibility



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