Mountain safety, use your brain

It was a week of big snowfall again, which almost automatically means that bad news will be coming up from the mountains. Avalanches are the silent killer lurking around the corner, your biggest enemy on the most beautiful days.

When I was looking outside earlier in the week on the Arlberg it was raining cats and dogs and I was almost doubting on selling my skis for waterskis. As predicted in the morning because of a strong cold front the heavy rain went over into heavy snow in less than a minute. A crazy little joke of nature that I was able to witness with my own eyes. This wave of snow lasted the whole day with the day after crystal blue skies and sunshine.

Awesome you would say!! Yes, but also major trouble, people stop thinking and walk themselves straight into avalanches


This is what I saw the next day. My chairlift went over a gigantic ‘schneebrett’ or better said and area where the snow had broken off and slided down already. This was an avalanche of 100s of metres wide that ended on the piste. Most likely this snowfield was deliberately triggered to fall when the pistes were still closed. Do you see in the upper right corner those small dots? Those are people traversing this schneebrett all the way to the left where the snow is still not triggered as yet. In my next round in the lift I saw them making their way all the way up to there. Most of them weren’t even wearing a pack (a pack contains an airbag that might keep you floating in an avalanche, a beeper, a shovel and a sonde so you can dig out your buddy from the snow)

I really can get a bit aggressive from these kinds of situations. Mostly because apart from putting yourself in danger, you are also putting multiple others in danger as well with you. Their walk could have triggered a next avalanche that might have went over the pistes. And say it they were caught in an avalanche, all those people that are part of the rescue missions are also always in danger

Here is another one

Screenshot_20181227-153506_Pixlr (1).jpg

Do you see these cracks in the snow? The lower hanging part is just waiting to drop on whatever trigger it can get. The snow has no grip on the lower layer because the lower layer snow is so full of water. This makes the snow just ready the slide down.

And exactly in these kinds of days are the days where people want to go out the most. It is a scary conclusion we have to make. After watching the serie ‘the Horn’ where I was writing about yesterday here we were able to see again that the mountains are full of dangers, and rescuers are well needed to save us all from our stupidities (ej, I’m no saint, myself included). More and more people feel the need to go further to the extremer side of sports I feel, because it is super trendy and does well on instagram pictures or so. But not everybody takes the time to really deepen themselves into the dangers of what they are doing.

To understand mountains and what snow does you really need a certain kind of training (called snow safety) or you have to have grown up around these mountains. And even then still the most beautiful sentence applies.

> # The mountains do not care that you did this course

Comments 0