For many years we have offered a range of educational activities regarding avalanche safety and awareness. Considering that 90% of victims start the avalanche that catches them, it is imperative to gain insight into this complex phenomenon as a fundamental part of learning any winter sport. Every individual who enjoys off-piste skiing, freeriding, snowshoeing, sledding, climbing or winter hiking needs to understand the fragility, dynamics and capabilities of avalanches. For this reason we offer:
AVALANCHE AWARENESS SAFETY
Avalanche (AVI) Awareness Safety Presentations are offered as a public service to communities, corporate groups, schools and clubs. Programme lengths can range from 30 minutes to two hours, according to your scheduling needs, with talks customized to the specific activity of participants. These safety presentations were designed to address the interests of all snow sport enthusiasts, off-piste skiers, freeriders, snowboarders, snowshoers, mountaineers and climbers. Local schools in Geneva, Scout Troops, climbing gyms, Swiss ski schools and corporations regularly take advantage of these talks to increase the knowledge base and overall safety of their employees and students who enjoy winter recreational activities.
For young people, Avalanche Presentations are regularly taught in English through the months of November to March, at both public and private schools. We offer these free talks to students as a public safety service, unless the school chooses to offer a donation. For adult groups, businesses, corporations and organizations we make these presentations for a small contribution to the Education for Orphans of Nepal (EON) charity. A description of these presentations can be found below.
AVI Safety Presentations are designed to:
- Introduce and explain where, when, and why avalanches occur
- Describe who the victims are that get caught and the most common reasons
- Provide vital information about staying safe in the backcountry when off-piste
- Explain avalanche formation and basic understanding of area avoidance
- Demonstrate the psychological influences that contribute to poor decision-making
- Clarify the various types of avalanche safety equipment, its limitations and usage
An Avalanche Awareness Safety Presentation demonstrates examples of avalanche warning signs, reasons that dangerous situations develop, and the basic characteristics of potential snow instability. It fosters awareness of risk possibilities and helps reduce the chance of becoming a victim through the application of informed decision-making models.
- Enhancement of interpretation of avalanche bulletins and weather reports
- Recognition of clues to potential avalanche danger like the ‘5 AVI Warning Flags’, etc
- Understanding the basics of planning and making informed choices in avalanche areas
- Appreciation of a judicious approach in avalanche terrain vs. common group dynamics
- Understanding the significance of training in companion rescue techniques & equipment design, equipment familiarity and use
These PowerPoint presentations demonstrate the designs of various avalanche safety equipment (transceiver beacons, ABS packs, various probe and shovel designs), and discuss local case histories, while encouraging questions and participation from the audience. Participants that are more than casual users of the backcountry can learn about specific topics taught during a multiple-day avalanche course.
Cost: To schedule a presentation at your business, school or group, simply contact us. Again, school talks are offered for free. Any presentation fees paid by businesses are donated to the Education for Orphans of Nepal Charity (EON) and are tax deductible.
Avalanche Awareness Snowshoe Outings
These easy 4-6 hour snowshoeing outings are offered most winter weekend days – just ask or check our events Calendar. (Learn about these on our Snowshoeing page by clicking here).
AVALANCHE TRAINING COURSE –
This two-day course is taught on many winter weekends and upon request, and follows AIARE formats. The purpose is to train participants in all aspects of basic avalanche safety, including decision-making, snowpack/slope stability testing, weather & forecast interpretation, the interaction between Terrain – Snowpack – Weather – Humans, and the most modern/efficient companion Search and Rescue (SAR) techniques. Upon completion of this course participants should know how to plan and travel intelligently in the winter backcountry, and what to do if an avalanche occurs. This is a necessary course for everyone concerned about staying safe while off-piste, and intelligently enjoying any Winter activity. Courses are physically easy, yet intensive ‘hands-on’ learning experiences, during which the participants will:
- receive an AVI Course Notebook to keep as an academic / personal reference
- learn about the types/classes of avalanches and their characteristic behaviours
- learn to plan a Winter outing to avoid dangerous situations and adjust to changes
- interpret weather reports, influence of recent weather history, limitations of the European AVI Scale, snowpack temperature gradients, observable natural AVI clues
- understand how to recognize avalanche terrain and dangerous “Terrain Traps”
- learn the relationship between Weather, Snowpack, Terrain & Humans (Triggers)
- practice safe travel methods in backcountry avalanche areas
- gain insight into making wise choices when faced with changing circumstances
- learn how to recognize and interpret the ‘5 Warning Signs’ of AVI potential
- implement evaluation techniques to determine slope and snowpack stability, and learn various snow shear, initiation, propagation and compression tests
- learn efficient use of various transceivers, probes & shovels to quickly effect a rescue
- apply Decision-Making Models to determine how to intelligently conduct outings
- understand various avalanche equipment designs, uses, limitations, and how to best choose AVI gear and make informed purchases
- practice the most modern search techniques to locate and extricate buried victims (with and w/o beacons); interpret flux line aberrations
- learn about the strong psychological factors influencing decision-makings (i.e. Heuristic Traps, the ‘Herding Instinct’; Group Dynamicity effects), and the mistakes most often made in risky situations
Differences in equipment, idiosyncrasies of various beacons and professional methods of search and rescue are practiced in the field. *NOTE: Advanced booking only. No previous experience needed.
Cost: 350-420€/person, with discounts offered to groups. All AVI equipment is provided free of charge. All courses feature small groups (4-6 max) to enhance learning. Private group bookings available.
*NOTE: Participation or scheduling of any activity is conducted according to our Terms and Conditions. It is the responsibility of any participant, client or legal guardian to read and accept these Terms and Conditions, listed as a heading on our Home Page.