Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for Avalanche + IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.


1. First, I'm insecure about my upcoming blog tour because Ghost of Death comes out on the 22nd of this month! That's why my tour won't begin until May. I'm looking for June stops so If you can help, there's a form at the bottom of this post.

2. Sunday was moving day, so on top of A to Z, IWSG Day, and planning my blog tour, I have to unpack. Yay! (Not.)

3. On Unicorn Bell, I'm starting a new feature called "Ask Chrys." For this feature, you can ask me any writing-related question(s). The bonus is that your question could be turned into a post. For more info, go HERE
Have a writing-related questionEmail me: ChrysFey(at)yahoo(dot)com


My theme for my 2015 A to Z Challenge came from my Disaster Crimes series. Disasters are a theme in each story, so it got me thinking about all the disasters that occur from natural disasters to manmade disasters.

Today’s disaster is...
AVALANCHE

FACT: Approximately 150 avalanche fatalities are reported every year.

An avalanche is a rapid flow of snow down a sloping surface, like a mountain. Avalanches are triggered when layers of accumulated snow is disturbed in some way. The top layer fractures, creating a downward torrent.

Image from Pixabay
These disturbances can be:
·         Rain and heavy snowfall
·         Warm temperature
·         Strong winds
·         Ice or rock fall
·         Vibration/movement
·         Skiers, snowmobiles and snowboards

FACT: 90% of avalanches are triggered by the weight of one of the victims in a group from skiers/snorboarders.

There are 3 different types of avalanches:
·         Loose snow avalanche (occurs when soft snow fall or snow softened by the sun)
·         Slab avalanche (when  a layer of snow shatters like glass and goes hurting down a mountain)
·         Wet snow avalanche (which consist of water and snow).

People caught in an avalanche are often killed by the blunt force of the impact of the snow hitting them as well as being buried alive. If someone survives the initial avalanche, the sheer volume of precipitation left in the air can fill their lungs and drown them on the inside.

FACT: The most powerful avalanches can reach speeds of over 300 km/h.

Image from Pixabay

If you’re caught in an avalanche, try to get off the slab by skiing/snowboarding straight down hill to gain speed then veer left or right to get out of the path of the rushing snow. You can do the same on a snowmobile by hitting your throttle for more speed. If escaping that way is not an option, hold onto a tree. If you can’t, and the avalanche hits you, move your arms and legs like your swimming and use as much strength as you can to move upward so you don’t sink too far. Clear away snow from your head as the motion of the snow slows to create room for air to reach you, and punch your hand through the top, because when the avalanche settles it becomes as stiff as concrete, which will paralyze any chance you have of moving. You will have to wait for rescue.

FACT: 93% of avalanche victims survive if they are dug out within 15 minutes after being buried.

Now wouldn’t that make an exciting story?


QUESTION: Does anyone here ski or snowboard?


I'm a member of Tremp's Troops!


146 comments:

  1. Excellent theme for your A to Z. most interesting to read and although it was about disasters it was also enjoyable.
    Have a good day.

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  2. I don't ski or snowboard, but I have friends that do - they seem to injure themselves a lot! ;P

    Avalanches are scary things - I never knew how to do my best to survive one - that info might come in useful in a story, I shall have to take note :)

    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
    FB3X
    Wittegen Press

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't know how to survive one either, so that was interesting to learn.

      Delete
  3. Glad your move went well!

    I'm shuddering to think about being buried like that....

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  4. Love the common theme of natural disasters in your books--Avalanche--that would be a horrific one.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Melanie! An avalanche would be horrific.

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  5. That's very worrying information :P Luckily this is one we don't have to deal with in Australia.

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  6. I'd never really given much thought to avalanches - great topic for A! You're right, it would make an interesting story.

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  7. I have an ankle condition which means skiiing and snowboarding are not an option, but they look like so much fun. Of course with all this talk of avalanches, maybe not so much ;). I never realised there were different types of avalanche, I always just though, oh, snow...
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a rod in my back, so skiing and snowboarding are out for me too.

      Delete
  8. Interesting! I did not know about the drowning part from all the moisture in the air.
    I witnessed an avalanche once while snowshoeing in British Columbia. The avalanche was on an adjacent mountain. The roaring thunder - and vibration - from the avalanche was incredible. We all nervously looked above us worried that it might trigger an avalanche on OUR mountain!!

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    1. I didn't know about that either. It was interesting to learn all the facts.

      How amazing that you witnessed an avalanche! I would've been worried too.

      Delete
  9. Buried alive and drowning - how awful!
    Did I sign up to help? Don't remember. Will do so now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is awful.

      Yes, you did, Alex. You probably don't remember because you were the first one. :)

      Delete
  10. When I read "the sheer volume of precipitation left in the air can fill their lungs and drown them on the inside," I shuddered! I had no idea that could happen.

    I've always been afraid of avalanches and mudslides.

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    Replies
    1. I didn't know either. Isn't that terrifying?

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  11. Chrys, you have me as a stop on your blog tour, so you can rest easy on that day.

    Death by avalanche? No thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Stephen! :D

      I wouldn't want to go out that way either.

      Delete
  12. It's an irrational fear of mine to be buried alive by an avalanche.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! If I lived where it snowed, it would be mine too.

      Delete
  13. I don't think I'll ever be caught in an avalanche's path, but at least now I'll know what to do if I am! I've never tried skiing or snowboarding, but I'd probably be horrible at them because of my poor balance.

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    Replies
    1. I'd be horrible at skiing and snowboarding too. No worries. ;)

      Delete
  14. One of Russia's most promising and talented young actors,. Sergey Bodrov, Jr. (as he's known in the West), was killed by an avalanche while filming his latest movie in 2002. He had also started getting into directing like his famous, legendary father. That was such a tragedy, a loss of talent in addition to the life of a young father and husband. I was so sad when I discovered this handsome, talented actor I'd just rediscovered had died awhile ago, and so horribly.

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    Replies
    1. Whoa! That's a fact that I didn't know. Thanks for telling me about that, Carrie-Anne.

      Delete
  15. What a fascinating start to the Challenge. Now I know a few ways to survive one, but I don't ski or snowboard. My best way to survive is not to go onto a snowy mountain. :) Good luck this month!

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    Replies
    1. That would be my best option too. ;)

      Delete
  16. Oh wow, this is really interesting! Great theme; look forward to seeing more of your posts :)

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  17. FACT: 90% of avalanches are triggered by the weight of one of the victims in a group from skiers/snorboarders.

    ---This fact just got me "what?!". Weight matters then. At least for skiers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those facts are surprising, aren't they?

      Delete
  18. Avalanches happens sometimes near me, living so close to lots of ski resorts. Got to be careful when new snow hits old snow. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yikes! I wouldn't want to live near avalanche danger zones. lol

      Delete
  19. I hate snow. Great theme, btw! I love natural disasters. They do make for great scenes or entire books. I feel like an avalanche has buried me this morning;P

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    Replies
    1. We've all been buried under an avalanche...of blogs. ;)

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  20. Your plate is officially over-full. I hate moving--haven't for 30 years. But I know the day is coming, and being here as long as I have means I've collected way too much. Did you have to clean out everything?

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    Replies
    1. Definitely over-full. I did have to clean out everything... not fun.

      Delete
  21. Yikes! I'm not a skier or snowboarder, but I used to go skiing with my dad and sis when I was a kid. Never on a big mountain where avalanches might occur (I grew up in Illinois, and frankly I am not sure where we were skiing, since the state is pretty darn flat!), so the thought of being crushed and drowned in snow has never been a fear. I guess now that I live in California I don't have to worry about that, either -- just the earthquakes, so I look forward to E! ;D

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  22. That sounds absolutely horrifying. I hope I don't have nightmares about this... I'm very impressionable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uh oh! Perhaps you should stay away from my blog for the month then. :P

      Delete
  23. I hope never to be caught in an avalanche, but if I am, I will remember your instructions. Didn't know the 90% cause factor.

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    Replies
    1. Knowing how to survive something is always good just in case.

      Delete
  24. Good luck with the unpacking. After a year & half, Hubs is still yammering at me to finish unpacking. All in good time, I say. LOL Best wishes on your new release.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Packing is easy, but unpacking seems to be harder. lol

      Delete
  25. I enjoy cross-country skiing now and then, but have never tried downhill--I'm too chicken, and there aren't many opportunities for it out on the prairies.

    That "drowning from the inside" part is horrible. Just thinking about your post makes me feel claustrophobic, so I'd say you did a good job. ;)

    Good luck settling into your new home! Hope it goes well.

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    Replies
    1. Cross-country skiing? Wow! You go, girl! :D

      Thanks, J.H.!

      Delete
  26. Well at least you got everything moved, that is usually the pain in the butt part. I would not want to be in an avalanche. Thankfully no chance of that here

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    Replies
    1. Moving is the biggest pain. Unloading after getting everything in the truck is the worst part!

      Delete
  27. Too scary for me. I'm thinking to stay away from places like that. Love the post!!

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    Replies
    1. I'd be staying away from places like that too. haha

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  28. I've been skiing once, way back when. This stuff looks scary.

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  29. I'm not a fan of snow but marvel at the fearlessness of those who would risk the dangers - yikes! Great post, Chrys! Highly interesting, informative - and a little scary ;-)

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    Replies
    1. I live in Florida so I like snow. ;)

      Delete
  30. Love the post, but I'm not a skier. Looking forward to more later. :-)

    Here's my link if you'd like to drop by :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

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  31. Hi Chrys,
    Good to be here.
    Glad to see you at my place too!
    Thank you so much for the kind feedback.
    The selection of your theme is really wonderful.
    Will come back again to read more.
    Thanks for sharing
    ~ Philip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thank you for coming to my blog, Phillip. I'm glad you liked my feedback. :)

      Delete
  32. Whenever I think of avalanches I remember a marathon of viewing I did a few years ago. It was the vintage tv series the Cosmo Topper. An avalanche was the cause of the demise of the ghosts who ended up haunting his life. No doubt fictional avalanches are a whole lot more amusing than real ones.

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    Replies
    1. That's interesting. I never heard of Cosmo Trooper. Yes, fictional disasters are better than real ones.

      Delete
  33. Another reason to not go skiing.

    Over from the A2Z!

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  34. Wow! Thanks for all that information. I had no clue avalanches were fatal. :( Looking forward to all the other wonderful facts I can learn here.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome. :) Yup, you should watch the movie Vertical Limit.

      Delete
  35. Hey!

    I'm not a skier or snowboarder, but I surely know more about how to survive an avalanche now!! (I always wondered how people can't dig themselves out quicker...)

    GOOD LUCK unpacking... we are in the middle of a move, too:)

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    1. Hey, Mark! Oh dear, good luck with your move as well.

      Delete
  36. I had no idea there were so many deaths. I did know there's no chance of digging yourself out.

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  37. YAY! So glad you've joined Unicorn Bell!!!

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    Replies
    1. Yup, I've been there for a while now. Hosted twice so far. :D

      Delete
  38. Hi Chrys .. avalanches are certainly horrific events and I'd hate to be involved in one .. snow at the best of times is dangerous .. Good luck with unpacking and keeping up with everything .. and your book tour - hung over to May - makes sense! I've skied a couple of times .. but is definitely not my favourite occupation and definitely not now - decades later .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I'd hate to be caught in one too. Especially after writing this post and finding all of this out.

      Thank you, Hillary!

      Delete
  39. Snow kinda freaks me out. Good thing I live in Vegas where we just don't get it often. Avalanches, snow storms, abominable snow man... Yep, it could happen.

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    1. Adominable snow man...you never know, huh?

      Delete
  40. I don't ski or snow board. I'm pretty averse to anything dangerous. Reading about avalanches confirms my fears.. LOL

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    Replies
    1. I don't do either of those either but was curious to know if anyone here does. :)

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  41. Great post Chrys. I don't ski or snowboard at all. There's just something about strapping a pair of sticks/slab of wood on my feet to slide down a mountain never appealed to me.

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    1. Doesn't appeal to me either. I'd be too scared.

      Delete
  42. Avalanches always scare me to think about. They are such a force that I can't help but be afraid.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  43. Scary! I took an outdoor ed. class in college. Yes, I've skied since I was 11. Once the snow stops and you're underneath, pushing away snow from the head or face is crucial for breathing as you mentioned. The other thing to do is spit and see which way it goes, then you'll know which way is up. After tumbling most people are disoriented. If you know which way is up you can dig toward the top.

    This will be a great series, Chrys. I could see how an avalanche could be suspense inducing and action packed! Great post. You're one busy lady with moving, A-Z challenge and Ask Chrys...Phew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good tidbit about spitting.

      Thanks. I'm definitely paying for it all now. I'm exhausted!

      Delete
  44. I don't ski or snowboard, but I used to snowmobile. I really like your theme because I like to use weather in my stories.

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    1. I like to use weather in my stories too. :)

      Delete
  45. Not surprisingly, I did not know most of these facts about avalanches! And yes, it would make a VERY exciting story!

    I don't ski or snowboard, but not because I'm afraid of avalanches ^_^

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    1. I didn't know these facts before I did my research.

      Delete
  46. We've had hundreds of avalanche fatalities in BC. Justin Trudeau, running for PM, son of our late Prime Minister lost a brother to an avalanche. It's very sad.

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  47. I had no idea avalanches took that many lives every year. Almost as dangerous as a blog tour! Not!

    Hope yours is a successful one and you have an avalanche of sales.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jay! I hope you have an avalanche of sales too!

      Delete
  48. After being buried under 7 feet of snow this winter and housebound, I understand the danger of it all. Avalanches are so scary...Very interesting post.

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    1. I couldn't do it. I don't know how anyone could live in places where a lot of snowfall happens. Scary!

      Delete
  49. I do ski, and now I feel very insecure about it! :) LOL, just kidding. I never go back-country skiing, so I think I'll be safe.

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    1. Haha! I thought you were serious. Whew! ;)

      Delete
  50. I haven't gone skiing in years...good luck with the tour! And have fun unpacking.

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  51. I do not snowboard. Not unless you count the Shaun White Snowboarding PS3 game.

    I used to ski many years ago but I never had my own skis, just rentals. Also the people I went skiing with, stopped going so that lost my enthusiasm for the sport. Despite living in the mid-west, I'm not fond of the cold.

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    1. Nope, I don't think that counts. ;)

      Delete
  52. I already signed up, didn't I? Give me a prod if not.

    Drowning in snow would be a bad way to go. I think April is going to be an avalanche for many!

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    Replies
    1. Yes you did. I had sent an email a while ago. :)

      Delete
  53. Interesting info, since we get a lot of avalanches on nearby mountains and the victims are usually out of bounds, not heeding warning signs. Doesn't matter how good you are at the sports, nature has more power. I've tried skiing, not snowboarding. It's not my cup of snow. . . have also used snowshoes. Good luck with the blog tour!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right about nature having more power. "not my cup of snow"...I like that. :)

      Thank you!

      Delete
  54. Great post, Chrys. I have no idea how to ski or snowboard as I live in a tropical country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I don't know how either because I was raised in Florida.

      Delete
  55. Boy, sounds like you've had a busy week..

    This is a cool theme. A hundred and fifty people a year sure seems like a lot. I think I'm just going to avoid huge piles of snow in the future...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure have! I could use a nap. lol

      It's easy for me to avoid those huge piles of snow in Florida. :P

      Delete
  56. Man am I happy I don't ski, snow board, or stray from my chickeness o_O. Pretty cool to read about avalanches and it confirms I'm not interested in being anywhere near it. My luck I wont be pulled out until 16 minutes is up . . . and . . . well, that's not good lol

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  57. Good luck with all the moving stuff. I will be moving soon myself, so dreading it. Great post. Never been skiing or snowboarding. I prefer the ocean, so more likely to go waterboarding, lol. Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Juneta. And good luck to you!

      Delete
  58. Great topic! I live in an avalanche-prone area and actually a lot of people die here most years at Mt. Baker (the nearest ski area) and there was a HUGE avalanche at Stevens Pass a few years ago where a bunch of folks died. It's all detailed in this crazy interactive thing on Outside Magazine (http://www.outsideonline.com/1910711/tunnel-vision). I used to ski and snowboard, but haven't in a long time. My son still does and it worries me terribly when he goes.

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    Replies
    1. That's crazy! Thanks for giving me the link to that article. I'll have to read it.

      Delete
  59. I have never thought about the possibility of drowning in an avalanche. After reading this, I don't think I'll take up skiing. ;)

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  60. Scary statistics! So much going on! Good luck with your virtual book tour! I'm sure it will be a smashing success!

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  61. You are crazy busy! Just remember it will all still be there, keep plugging away. Good luck on Ghost of Death release.

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  62. Well, that is just a scary, but great post.

    Great start, all the luck on all the letters!

    Welcome in the "A"... as a host I am stopping by to say thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

    ReplyDelete
  63. Not having any snow anywhere near where I live, this isn't something that usually figures into my awareness. But it would be a terrifying thing to endure. Interesting story on the news recently with an Australian group of friends caught in an avalanche, the guy did what you said - moved his head around and stuck his skiing pole up so they could see it sticking out of the snow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was smart then. He knew what to do and saved their lives. That's good.

      Delete
  64. Wow, that's a lot going on in your life! Good luck!

    Interesting theme this year. Can't wait to see what other disasters you come up with!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Wow, my hat off to you if you are moving during the first part of this challenge! I do not ski or snow board, LOL. Hubby and son did when we lived in Montana; I spent time in the lodge :) Honestly, I was so afraid I would break something I wanted to stay put. Years ago a nurse and a doctor were helicopter skiing some place (maybe Canada?) and got caught in an avalanche and both died. They worked at the hospital I was at, at the time. Young, 20s and 30s. Made an impact on me.

    betyt

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    Replies
    1. I didn't plan it that way. It just happened. I'd be afraid of breaking something too. Wow! That would impact me too.

      Delete
  66. So yelling near cliffs of snow is a no no. Got it!!

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  67. A lot happening for you this month. Good luck with it all :)

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  68. What an awesome theme -- for the A to Z and for your stories! Avalanches scare me because I read a novel when I was a kid about a boy who survived one and because now that we live in Switzerland there are news reports of deaths by avalanche now and again!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Deniz! If I lived in Switzerland, I'd be afraid of avalanches too.

      Delete
  69. My husband and two of his best friends were once caught in an avalanche in the Pyrenees mountains in France. They were all very lucky to get out alive. Two other men, rangers, were also caught, and one of them lost two of his fingers to frostbite. My husband says he likes the mountains because they are honest and keep you on your toes. Thanks for dropping by and commenting, and I signed up for June. Let me know! Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    Replies
    1. Oh my! Frostbite is a serious danger when you're caught in an avalanche and trapped for a long time.

      Delete
  70. I was an avid skier. It was a lot of fun!

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  71. Thankfully I do not ski or snowboard so hopefully I will never be in one:)

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  72. I don't ski or climb mountains...so I think I'm probably safe from this one :)
    Katie @TheCyborgMom

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