An avalanche occurs when a mass of snow falls down a
mountainside. That is because new snow (which is not wet)
accumulates on a more heavy snow layer. Since the new snow layer is
not compact, it could slide down toward the base of the mountain.
Avalanches could be triggered by loud noise (yells, firearm shots,
etc.). Skiers, snowboarders and climbers could also cause an
avalanche. There are two ways to reduce avalanche risks: by
installing snowsheds or by triggering controlled avalanches. These
protection fences are made of rocks, soil and other materials. They
prevent avalanches to fill trails used by humans. Controlled
avalanches cause the accumulated snow to fall down before it could
trigger avalanches by itself. When nobody is in danger, explosives
are used to produce a loud noise that causes an avalanche.
Avalanches could be seen every winter in mountainous regions of
Québec. Fortunately, they do not often occur near inhabited areas.
During the winter, do not venture in the mountain without an adult.
If you walk in a trail after a snow fall, do not walk in the middle
of it, but rather on the side. Avalanches always fall down in the
middle of the path; thus, if you are on the side, the risks of
being hit by the avalanche are lower. * In 1999, an avalanche
killed many people in Kangiqsualujjuaq, near the Ungava Bay in
The avalanches occur as a result of the snow packed mountains become to heavy to support itself and therefore fall at the base of the mountain.