07 January 2013    

Since mid-December several tragic avalanche accidents occurred in Tyrol which killed six people on ski tours or freeriding.

Don't let you take the fun BUT see it as a warning and urgent reminder to plan your projects carefully and to refrain in doubt on a slope or on a whole tour. The mountains do not run away and the winter has just begun.

In addition to studying the daily avalanche bulletins and the current mountain weather, there are numerous other excellent sources of information for trip planning and preliminary assessment of the situation available.
Regarding the recent events, once again it's clearly apparent: It is not sufficient to take into account only the warning level issued, the devil is in the details which means: Read carefully the long text of the avalanche bulletin and observe the medium and long-term snowpack development. An aid offers for example for the region of Tyrol, the blog of the Avalanche Warning Service Tyrol, where you will find interesting additional information and a work-up of current avalanche events.

In addition to the always and everywhere to be held in the eye snowdrift deposits, there is for example in our home area, the Stubai Alps, this season a "damn stupid" ground-depth sugar snow layer in shady slopes above 2200m, which can also at lower alert levels represent a locally serious threat to large slabs.   Particularly dangerous are the transitions from little too much snow. Several of the recent disasters in our region are attributed to this sugar snow layer (eg Torspitze und Längentaler Weißerkogel, Zischgeles).

Another thing: Ski touring and freeriding are in fashion. Ie there are now, lured by exciting images in the media and the promise of limitless freedom in the backcountry, more and more people on the mountain, often with little or nothing on mountaineering who are guided by wrong goals and ideas.

Freedom means discipline
Discipline requires recognition,
Recognition means experience,
Experience requires life.


No matter how good you are, bad things can happen.