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During lectures on mountaineering, we students were made aware of the dangers of an avalanche – roughly defined as rolling snow on a mountain that can smash, tear apart and/or bury objects that come in its way. Team instructors would plan routes that would avoid areas where avalanches regular occur or where avalanching snow would roll down like a waterfall. Arguably, a big avalanche can be the most dangerous calamity for climbers and skiers. Seen from a distance, an avalanche can look like a spray of powered snow harmlessly moving down. So, it was difficult to understand why our instructors made such a big hue and cry about steering clear of avalanches. This article clearly told me why: