Are you able to locate and dig out your friend or family member from an avalanche in 15 minutes?

Experts say that most avalanche victims are alive when the avalanche stops… and that their best chances of surviving are if they are dug out in 15 minutes or less.

If you want to ensure that you and your friends and/or family can get each other out from under the snow if need be, this is a great time to bring your skills up-to-date. Especially for those of us lucky enough to be in-resort at the moment, or nearby. In view of this, Henry’s Avalanche Talk (HAT), in partnership with the Ecole de Ski Alpine Experience in Val d’Isère and Tignes, have put together training sessions that can help you achieve the 15 minute goal of searching and saving a buried victim.

We set up the ‘victims’ and avalanche sites before you arrive. So you keep moving the whole time and get in a maximum of searches and practice!


Feedback during a recent session at a multiple burial site

2.5 or 3.5 hour sessions. Both include the essential basics of searching, pinpointing and digging for ‘victims’. It’s a great way to complete – to an acceptable level – the practice you did next to the piste or in the car park!

  • 2.5 hour session includes: 3-4 single burial searches; probing and digging
  • 3.5 hour session includes: 3-4 single burial searches; 2-3 multiple burial searches; probing and digging

Great for team building (as this short video attests to) AND it can save a life!

Both sessions include an intro session with a ‘partner check’ overview and a debriefing session afterwards for questions, comments and discussion on subjects like assessing safety (of secondary avalanche threat), when to call the rescue services and choosing a leader. You’ll also get a ‘Standard of Off-piste Excellence Certificate’ for attending either.

Digging in a “V” Shape Human Snow Conveyor

Training sessions can be done on snowshoes, on touring skis or on skis/snowboards depending on whether or not the lifts are open. We can arrange this with you in advance.

Transceiver Search Training – Finding a ‘Victim’

Contact us on or +33 6 29 21 33 00 if you’d like to attend an existing session (if there’s space) or if you’d like to set up a session for your own group. We can give you an idea of pricing then.

Finally, the video below provides a good overview of the course and testimonial in the words of the people who just recently did a 3.5 hr session.

In Their Own Words: Avalanche Rescue Training session

Safety is Freedom!

There’s a long list of evidence that shows how applying simple frameworks, checklists and memory aids reduce risk in ‘high consequence, low feedback’ risk contexts prevalent in: aviation, military, finance, health care, avalanche terrain etc.

See our HAT quick reference ‘Safety is Freedom Framework’ for accident reduction in avalanche terrain. The Framework is aimed at all levels of off-piste and touring: for beginnersa point of departure; for experts: a guide for further learning; for pros: it’s a great framework for client training and quick memory aid.

The Framework is best if accompanied by training such as HAT events and on-snow courses, but it’s also a useful companion for all training as it focuses on the basic key points that all avalanche training courses address – it helps you to keep focused on the essential accident reduction points.

For more information on upcoming HAT events (including the *ORTOVOX Off-piste awareness Tour) : webinars, online talks and other useful announcements, see our HAT Facebook page.