Essential training and advice for off piste skiers

Stay safe and have fun

Safety is Freedom

Know where to go and when?

Be well prepared

Accident Reduction Framework

Do you ski off piste?

Would you like to understand the risks and know how to manage them so you can stay safe and have more fun?

We have discovered that if you enter avalanche terrain and do not apply good risk management then it is as risky as base jumping. However if you do apply good risk management, then it is no riskier than driving to the resort. 

Watch Henry in this video where he explains the HAT approach to managing the risk and how we can help you to have more fun and stay safe at the same time. As we say.

Safety is Freedom

 

https://youtu.be/etvj7r4KU6s

Here are 5 ways we can help you

Free practical advice

Discover the
ACCIDENT REDUCTION FRAMEWORK, get our snow reports, read our free articles, watch our live broadcasts, follow the HAT blog for the latest insight and advice.

Avalanche talks

Attend our talks to learn how to apply the ACCIDENT REDUCTION FRAMEWORK so you can make going off piste no more risky than driving to the resort. You can come to live events or via Zoom webinar

Transceiver training

Join one of our sessions so that if the worst happens, you can locate a victim in 5 minutes and dig them out in 15 minutes using the transceiver, shovel and probe.

On snow courses

Come skiing with Henry Experience the off piste and learn how to apply the HAT checklist and risk management on the snow. Discover the amazing off piste terrain in Val d’Isere and Tignes.

HAT ACADEMY

Spend a weekend in the UK with Henry refining your skills  and going in depth into how to make decisions and reduce risks when going off piste.

Recent blog posts

In the season and the season warm up we regularly post advice, HAT updates, weather, snow reports and news on our blog

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Snowpack stabilization due to wet snow and high temperatures

Current off-piste conditions in the Northern French Alps and surrounding areas, and forecast for new year’s week Snow conditions in the N French Alps over the last few days are a classic example of how, after causing initial instability, wet snow, high temperatures...

Travel, Snow & Safety Report for N French Alps and Surrounding Areas 24th – 30th December 2021

Rulings around the current Covid situation are very frustrating for us all. We realise that many skiers, particularly Brits, are unable to get to the Alps because of the ever-changing travel restrictions. One might claim these are 'First World problems', but we know...

Off-piste snow & safety, N French Alps & surrounding areas : 17th – 23rd December 2021

Sunny weather and relatively high temperatures throughout the Alps. This should continue throughout most of next week too. Fresh snowfall may hopefully arrive at the end of next week. Skiing is a mixed bag of conditions, with some very crusted snow which has been...

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Henry does live broadcasts and updates on conditions during the season on You Tube

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Henry's Avalanche Talk
Henry's Avalanche Talk3 weeks ago
When we get fresh snowfall, accompanied by a rise in temperatures and likely rain, the extreme danger in the days during and the hours right after the snowstorm is very apparent and often over-emphasized. Despite this initial instability, the final effect, however, is snowpack stabilisation – which is often under-emphasized.

Does this mean we ignore the obvious, classic signs of danger on a slope that is subjected to a rapid rise in temperatures and incoming solar radiation especially just after a snowstorm storm? Of course not, but equally it is important to recognise the net – final outcome of warming, melting and especially rain (any situation where free water drips down through the snowpack), will be a stabilizing ‘glueing’ effect, especially when temperatures go down below freezing level after. This is often reflected by a drop in danger level in the forecast up to the altitude at which the snowpack has been fairly well saturated – at least in the top layers down to 40-50cm. This drop in danger level (stabilisation of the snowpack) happens sometimes in as little as 12 hours after the melting or rain has ceased.

As well as this ‘glueing’ effect causing stabilisation, many steeper slopes have purged themselves of snow – often virtually down to ground level taking with it most of the facets that made up the persistent weak layer on those slopes. But the persistent weak layer, that developed during the clear skies over the two weeks leading up to the storm, is still a serious factor to consider on North’ish facing slopes up above approx 2800 m on North’ish facing slopes.

The avalanche danger levels in the N French Alps by Meteo-France show the diminishing danger level after the snowstorm on Wednesday 29th Dec, with avalanche danger ratings of 4 on the 30th, down to a 3 or 2 two days later – then down to a 1 four days later.

Images thanks to Météo-France

For more info see the article that accompanies this video on: henrysavalanchetalk.com/snowpack-stabilization-due-to-wet-snow-and-high-temperatures/
Henry's Avalanche Talk
Henry's Avalanche Talk1 month ago
When this happens, it's usually because the owner only shared it with a small group of people or changed who can see it, or it's been deleted.
Henry's Avalanche Talk
Henry's Avalanche Talk1 month ago
Caroline E Elliott has worked with HAT over the years and now she has launched a book on snow safety. M

Congratulations from HAT. A great cause to keep children safe.
Henry's Avalanche Talk
Henry's Avalanche Talk1 month ago
Off-piste snow & safety, N French Alps and surrounding areas : 17th – 23rd December 2021

Sunny weather and relatively high temperatures throughout the Alps. This should continue throughout most of next week too. Fresh snowfall may hopefully arrive at the end of next week.

Conditions range from some very crusted snow which has been affected by the higher than normal temps and wind, plus some great light powder snow in shaded / sheltered areas. Touring will start to become more necessary as the resorts gets more tracked out.

The current avalanche danger level in much of the higher parts of the Alps is 3 from about 2200m and 2 below. The 2 level will become more dominant while high North facing slopes have maintained the presence of a fairly persistent weak layer close to the ground which could facilitate triggering of a slab avalanche. Exercise care around steep North’ish facing slopes as this danger will continue to be there – however unlikely the chances of triggering are – the consequences could be very serious.

In terms of applying care, the Accident Reduction Card shown in this article and video is designed to help apply the basic points that help to make off-piste and touring reasonably safe - an acceptable risk.

https://henrysavalanchetalk.com/off-piste-snow-safety-n-french-alps-17th-23rd-december-2021/
Henry's Avalanche Talk
Henry's Avalanche Talk1 month ago
So excited to finally launch 🐾❄️🥂
Thank you @ortovox for supporting our project to bring snow safety to children well before they reach the winter resorts ❄️🐾🙏 #fjordsar #childrensbookillustration #childrensbook #avalanchedog #fjordsmountainmission #booklaunch #booklaunching #books #skiing🎿 #skipatroldogs #skiingislife #ski @waterstones
Henry's Avalanche Talk
Henry's Avalanche Talk1 month ago
Snow storms dying out over the weekend. Sunny and warm next week with great skiing.

It’s been a week of cold temperatures and plenty of snowfall. Snow conditions are currently excellent in the N French Alps and surrounding areas (indeed throughout most of the Alps). More snowfall is due today (Friday), dying out on Saturday – all through the Alps but mainly on the Western side. We are now able to ski down to altitudes of 1000 m or lower with snow depths deeper than normal for the time of season (a dramatic change from even a week ago, when we were wrecking our skis on hidden rocks). With an avalanche danger level of 4 out of 5 most of the week, we’ve been taking it easy and staying mainly on and around slope angles below 30°. The snow falling at the time of this writing is going to maintain the 4 to 5 danger level at least through Saturday and maybe into Sunday (mainly in the N French Alps and areas most hit by the big snowfalls) due to the storm related avalanche danger – known in the profession as ‘storm (slab) avalanches’ and some times ‘direct action avalanche’ which is the avalanche activity during and just after (about 24 hours) the snow/weather event. After this last big storm, and the direct – storm avalanche activity, the avalanche danger will drop significantly on Sunday and Monday thanks to the warming temperatures. The warming temperatures will contribute to a brief, maybe intense, cycle of instability / avalanche activity, but the net effect will be a solid stabilising of the snowpack for at least the next week.

https://henrysavalanchetalk.com/off-piste-snow-report-n-french-alps-10th-16th-december-2021/
Snowpack stabilization due to wet snow and high temperatures https://t.co/DkEUKOJMzf
Travel, Snow & Safety Report for N French Alps and Surrounding Areas 24th – 30th December 2021 https://t.co/IPgLa8p5Dg
Off-piste snow & safety, N French Alps : 17th – 23rd December 2021 https://t.co/RJJ8sLBdgu
Off-piste snow report, N French Alps : 10th – 16th December 2021 https://t.co/527wXGrQjg

Some more of our blog posts

Off Piste Snow Report, Travel & Upcoming Events

Off Piste Snow Report, Travel & Upcoming Events

In the video below, I give you a quick overview on: Current off piste snow conditions for the Northern French Alps and surrounding areas. We've received (and are continuing to receive) fresh snowfall. The current avalanche risk is high - 4 out of 5. This fresh snow...

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