This practical guide is aimed at walkers, climbers and snowsport enthusiasts who want to acquire or improve their knowledge of snow and avalanche release. It is equally suitable for snow professionals, guides, mountaineering and snowsport instructors, and ski patrollers. Translated by the late Blyth Wright, it describes the formation and evolution of snow, and shows practical methods for examining and analysing snow cover. It illustrates how to identify the many forms which snow may take and how to assess avalanche risk more precisely and reliably. The guide also explains a system of snow observation and comes with a handy snow crystal card for identifying crystals in the snow layer.