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Info on Alpine dangers and avalanches

Tips and information on the latest weather and avalanche situation

Safety first. Safety is the utmost priority in Alpine terrain. Everyone is individually responsible for assessing Alpine dangers on snowshoe and ski routes. We are happy to provide you here with detailed information on the weather, avalanche forecasts plus tips and information on the topic. Please always inform yourself in advance about the latest conditions and note the current avalanche warning level in the region. With good planning, nothing will stand in the way of your tour. Tip: take the tour with a local mountain guide!

Tips

  • checkCheck your physical fitness before each snowshoe or ski tour.

  • checkPlan each tour carefully in advance: consider map material, length, difficulty, weather reports.

  • checkFind out about the avalanche situation before the tour starts.

  • checkEnsure you have good equipment, weather-appropriate clothing and a first-aid package. In case of an avalanche emergency, a transceiver, shovel and probe are standard, along with knowledge of how to use them. An ABS backpack can save lives.

  • checkPlan for breaks with warm drinks and snacks.

  • checkPlan your tours in small groups. Those going solo please note: leave information about your tour and your destination to someone.

  • checkKeep the mountains clean and take your waste with you.

  • checkTake wild animals into account - avoid noise, do not enter shelter or rest areas, or feeding areas, and take your dog on a lead.

  • checkDo not enter reforestation areas and cross forests only on approved routes.

Avalanche forecasts

European avalanche risk scale

Danger level Snow cover stability Avalanche trigger probability
5 - very high The snow cover is generally weakly linked and largely unstable. Many very large or extremely large avalanches can be expected spontaneously, even in moderately steep terrain.
4 - high The snow cover is weakly linked on most steep slopes* Avalanches are likely to be triggered with just a small additional load** on numerous steep slopes*. At times, many large avalanches, sometimes also very large avalanches, are expected spontaneously.
3 - considerable The snow cover is only moderately or weakly linked on many steep slopes*. Avalanches may be triggered by just a small additional load**, especially on the steep slopes indicated*. At times some large, or occasionally very large, avalanches are possible spontaneously.
2 - moderate The snow cover is only moderately linked on some steep slopes* and otherwise is generally well linked. Avalanches may be triggered in particular when there is a large additional load**, especially on the steep slopes indicated*. Very large spontaneous avalanches are not to be expected.
1 - low The snow cover is generally well linked and stable. Avalanches generally only might be triggered with a large additional load** at isolated points in extremely steep terrain*. Only small and medium-sized avalanches are spontaneously possible.

* Avalanche-prone terrain is generally described in more detail in the avalanche situation report (altitude, exposure, type of terrain):
• Moderately steep terrain: slopes flatter than around 30 degrees
• Steep slopes: slopes steeper than around 30 degrees
• Extremely steep terrain: particularly unfavorable in terms of inclination (steeper than around 40 degrees), landforms, proximity to a ridge and surface roughness

** Additional load:
• Low: individual skier/snowboarder, gently swinging not falling, snowshoe hikers, groups keeping distances (>10m)
• Large: two or more skiers / snowboarders etc. not keeping distances, piste vehicles, blowing up
spontaneously: without human intervention

Behaviour in an accident

  • checkKeep calm and act carefully.

  • checkBring the injured person out of danger and secure them

  • checkProvide first aid and don't leave the injured person alone.

  • checkMake an emergency call to report the accident.

Information to include in an emergency call

  • checkWhat happened?

  • checkHow many people are injured?

  • checkWhere and when did it happen?

  • checkHow is the weather at the location of the accident?

  • checkWho is reporting the accident?

Important: First aiders should leave their phone switched on after the emergency call so that they can be reached by the rescue centre in case they have any questions. For use of a helicopter, it is important to know the visibility, wind direction and wind strength at the site
Emergency numbers: Alpine emergency 140, Euro emergency 112

More useful links

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