Avoid staying for a longer period in avalanche release areas (areas with clide cracks) and run out areas.

Time of release is nearly impossible to predict

Gliding snow


  • The entire snowpack is gliding on the ground, typically on smooth ground such as grassy slopes or smooth rock zones.
  • High activity of glide-snow avalanches are typically related to a thick snowpack with no or only few layers,
  • Higher glide Avalanche activity in winters with a lot of snow and no ground frost.
  • Glide snow avalanches can occur both with a cold dry snowpack and with a warm wet snowpack, but the snowpack is usually wet at the ground.
  • The release of a glide-snow avalanche is nearly impossible to predict, although glide cracks open usually before a release.


Spatial distribution

  • Predominant on smooth ground (rock or grass) and on every aspect, but more often on south-facing slopes.
  • Varying steepness.


Release characteristics

  • Glide-snow avalanches are caused by a loss of friction at the snow-ground interface.
  • The snowpack is gliding due to gravity.


Possible weak layers

  1. Wet snow/melting near the ground



  • Days to months; possibly entire winter-season.
  • The release can occur at any time during the day. In spring, gliding avalanches occur mostly in the later part of the day.



Identification of the problem

  • With the presence of glide cracks the problem can often be easily localized.
  • Avalanche release without pre-existing glide cracks is also possible.


Glide avalanche. Photo: Jostein Aasen