The thrill of hiking through vast expanse of pure white crushed ice all around, sculpting snow into a happy Snow-man, tossing snow balls at one another and enjoying a fun-filled snow fight!?
Wow, sounds like a perfect scenario for a winter holiday while trekking in Ladakh, paragliding or simply enjoying the view from a hot-air balloon, doesn’t it?! But what happens when you get much more than you anticipated? What would you do if you are stuck in the epicentre of a snow storm?! Well, this adventurous vacation can turn into a devastating nightmare! Being well informed about natural calamities and taking precautions is half the battle won. Let us get to know more about these deadly monsters and gear ourselves to fight them!
Snow storms are caused when air masses of different kinds collide with one another. The warm air rises up above the cold air which escapes beneath it causes a massive cloud mass to form. This eventually bursts open and gives way to heavy snow fall.
When can they occur?
The possibility of occurrence of snowstorms is at its peak during the winter months, however at such high altitudes, weather conditions are unpredictable and chances of storms occurring during summer cannot be ruled out.
Ho to prepare yourself to survive a snow storm?
While venturing out on treks to Ladakh or any other snow capped region be it at any time of the year, it is always wise to be fully prepared to face a storm.
Pack right, pack smart. Snow trekking is no walk in the park. One has to be mentally and physically prepared for the trip. Packing the right items is very crucial for such adventures. Make sure to pack enough and extra woollens, energising food, essential toiletries, cell phone, flashlights and money.This way, even if storm attacks, you have supply of basic necessities that would see you through a few days at least.
Stock up the food. On the event of being stuck up in hotel rooms due to heavy snow storms, you wouldn’t want to go hungry with absolutely nothing to eat! Remember to always pack easy to cook canned food items, meant only for emergencies, like this one.
Charge up those electronics. Keeping electronics, especially mobile phones and radio charged and running is crucial. Do whatever you can from your end, to keep the channel of communication open with the outside world. Also, make sure you have enough extra batteries for your flashlights, as the visibility would be poor during snow storms.
Keep warm, really warm! The smart way to cheat the spine chilling temperature caused by a snow storm is to layer up with lose warm clothing. Cover up your feet and hands with thick protective winter gloves and socks. You wouldn’t want those nasty extremely painful frostbites, if they are left uncovered!
Positive mental attitude Apart from all these, the basic survival tactic is being mentally strong. Stay positive, think smart and keep your cool. Pep talk to yourself, and keep your spirits high. Ensure you are equally well equipped to survive an earthquake as well, for you never know when the earth can really decide to split wide open when you are surrounded by snow. As the saying goes, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going!’