Education is not enough – Journalist webinar

Why do well trained skiers have avalanche accidents

We held a webinar for ski journalists examining the idea that the avalanche education professionals have now learned that education is not enough. Why do so many accidents also happen to people who have been educated? Why did they or one of their group end up triggering an avalanche? The challenge for educators is to help people to apply what they learn, to spot the warning signs when a group may be headed into danger.

Skiers need tools so that they can apply what you learned and stay out of trouble.

Henry provides an opportunity to see the tools and advice we will be offering off-piste skiers in our training this Autumn.

We will also gave everyone a chance to test their avalanche awareness and off-piste safety knowledge in a light-hearted fun way.

And we examined the likely impact of climate change on avalanche risks for off-piste skiers

This is a video recording of the event

Raw Transcript

Henry Schniewind  00:18

There’s thanks very much, Rob. And thank you all for, for joining us and taking some time out of your busy day. And as, as we’re all quite busy, what I’m gonna try to do is keep this as short as possible, the top part of mine and see if I can do it in 20 minutes. That will be a bit of a record and then we’ll have a have a have a question and answer. Just quickly, one thing I want to add to what Rob was saying, we have another partner, which is Ellis Brigham, and that’s where most of the talks and events that the talks themselves will be taking place. And so I will just I’ll kick off with, with what’s on with, with what’s on the agenda for the the title of this of this session, which is why is education not enough? And what therefore, why do people who have knowledge and the training, why did they get into problems, whether their accidents, bad accidents, death? And and also, why is it actually the majority, the vast majority of people who get into accidents did have the training enough training to have been able to recognize the clear signs of dangers. And even despite that they didn’t apply the points that would impact their safety impact or safety in a positive way, even though they knew how to recognize those dangers and also knew about the various different points that could have and should have been applied. But we stopped before we started with the the actual slideshow, I’ve got a bunch of images and some video and stuff like that. What I wanted to also first clarify is what our mission here at Henry’s avalanche talk is Rob touched upon that that we want to help people to have the best time they possibly can out on the mountains, we’re all really passionate about off piste, in skiing, ski touring ourselves. So that is what our what our goal is, and what we mean when we say Help help you get the best out of your time on the mountain. Our vision is comes from that is safety is freedom, safety, what we try to do overall is mixed safety a liberating concept. And next to that the next point that I wanted to make also was that research has shown that that actually off piste and ski touring can be surprisingly safe despite all this talk we’re gonna have about about injury and accidents and, and death and things like that. off piste ski join can be surprisingly safe if the key points of accident reduction are applied. Now the funny thing is, according to statistics and an interesting article of by Bruce Tremper called What are the risks of riding in avalanche terrain, we can put that link up there during the webinar if you want or just afterwards is back country can be surprisingly safe. But it can be surprisingly dangerous, surprisingly dangerous if we don’t apply if we don’t apply these points. And a lot of that is because 90 Over 90% of all accidents happen to people who trigger the the avalanche themselves. So it accidents happen with people triggering the avalanche themselves or someone else triggering it in their group. And then more and more common is other people above with the increased activity of our peace and security to ski touring, being ambushed as they call it now in North America is something that becomes has become more and more common. And finally, before we get into the slide presentation here, I want to make it also clear that no one goes out onto the mountain with the aim of killing themselves or their friends or their clients. So with that said, I’m going to kick off here our presentation, I’m going to start with the type of avalanche that that is involved with most accidents. So we said that 90 95% of people are victims trigger the avalanche themselves and, and 90 to 95% of the time. It’s a cold, dry slab avalanche that’s involved.


Henry Schniewind  04:35

Now describing all these things, what exactly they are, etc is something we do in the talk. And this is what it looks like. But 90 95% of the time it’s the victim that triggers the avalanche it’s a cold by slab avalanche. And I just wanted to take a moment and with that in mind and meditate on this quote from a book called I just call it the avalanche, avalanche patch, because that’s the easiest way to to recount the name of the title of this. And if you really want to get to the bottom in my new detail of, of why education is not enough and the human factors reading through this book is essential. And in fact, I think my big critique of proof Busquets book here is that he says it’s aimed at at recreationalists. And I believe it should be


Henry Schniewind  05:34

aimed at professionals, and vary the very, very best expert of peace gears and ski tours. The mountain is an environment of poor feedback for learning about avalanche hazard. It’s a brilliant place to become a skier or a climber, but it’s only a social laboratory for learning about avalanches. And he also quotes the person in McCammon, who came up with the first real academic and acceptably academic and scientific study on accident events and why they happened and he pinned down, it really comes down to a list of human factors. And the the reason I’m putting this on here right now is, is because in fact, what they’re getting at is that the environment, the the risk context is one that’s labeled as, as high consequence, because you can get killed and avalanches, but low feedback, we don’t get feedback from the environment. And and and this is different from most of the things we learn in our lives, like skiing, for example, we put the ski on a little bit edge, and we get instant feedback on what that does a lot of edge we get instant feedback, put too much weight on our uphill ski, we get instant feedback and, and Avalanche terrain, we don’t have the benefit of this feedback. And when the rare reference instance of feedback that we get it in avalanche terrain. As Ian McKellen’s quote, points out, avalanche training does not provide the luxury of timely proportional feedback to our decisions. Instead, feedback is catastrophic. What he means by that is that basically, when we get feedback, it can kill us. So I think that most avalanche experts really benefit and become experts, thanks to near misses, but unfortunately, that kind of experience could kill us. And so that goes starts to go a long way into explaining why experts get why they get into into problems. But the main reason is, is that it’s there’s also low frequency, that all of this comes together to lead us into complacency a lot of the time, you can go by months and months, weeks and weeks, months and months, even years without having, really seeing or coming close to any feedback around you in terms of avalanches. And what this has been proved by, by behavioral psychologists by behavioral science scientists is that you can’t really it’s very, very, very difficult to develop a level of expertise that’s acceptable, or a high level of expertise in these environments. And in fact, instinct intuition is, is flawed, because intuition is just basically recognizing things that were familiar. And if you think about it, Bruce k, for example, he’s a, he’s not only a climber and skier, but he’s a carpenter. If you’re a carpenter, you do woodworking when you saw on the ROG wrong direction, you get instant feedback and you can fine tune it, you’re chiseling you, you make your cut in the wrong direction, you can come back and and work it out. But an avalanche trend, you can’t do that. And you can’t develop the intuition beforehand. That, that allows you to recognize when you’re in a dangerous scenario, for example, and a good example of this is if you go on to a slope, and you don’t trigger an avalanche, that’s not necessarily because the slope is stable, it’s just because it didn’t trigger and in fact, you can go on to onto an unstable slope, hundreds 1000s, maybe even 10s 1000s of times, according to some and not trigger an avalanche. So then you think you’re getting good, maybe, but really, you’ve just been lucky. And this is a subject that that has been brought up a lot in the area of, of, of the professional domain of, of avalanche experts and and guides. Are we good? Or are we just lucky. And what we’re getting at here is if is it, it’s very difficult even for the top top professionals and the top experts. It’s very difficult to differentiate between luck and skill. And we


Henry Schniewind  09:49

tend to if we’ve gone through a few seasons, like last season in the Alps are very few accidents. You get into habits that you think okay, well that’s fine, and then you apply that the next time you’re out in a familiar environment and boom, maybe the avalanche happens, maybe, maybe it doesn’t. But, but but you can go, as I said, for years without triggering an avalanche, even an unstable terrain, and, and nothing will happen. That’s what we call them, the low feedback. And and this is why it’s so easy to get led astray and think that you’re becoming really skilled when actually, you’ve just been lucky. And all of this sort of leads us into, into into temptation and, and basing our decisions sometimes on like, following people’s tracks. And because it’s much easier to do that than to sort of do a snow analysis or dig a snow pit, follow someone else, or listen to someone else who seems like they’ve got some expertise. And, and a lot of people get caught out by making these quick, simple solutions that may have worked really, really well for years and years and years, not only in skiing, but in other areas like commitment. We, we always do what we set out we’ve set out to do, and it’s worked well for us got us to lots of summits. So we did, that’s what we apply. And but the problem is, is that it may have worked mainly just because of luck in the past. So how do we get ourselves on the right track and not get caught out, like, so many professionals and experts, and other reasonably intelligent people have allowed themselves to do well, in McCammon, here who’s a, who’s a behavioral scientist himself, suggest these decision making tools and things like that he got these ideas from other areas like aviation, from, from from areas like, from from surgery, where you may have heard about the surgical safety checklist that the who developed I’ve worked with a number of surgeons on what they call never events, and never events are a lot like avalanches. As the as the term implies, they never happen, like maybe doing the correct operation, but on the wrong patient or getting the patient right but getting the operation wrong. It happens surprisingly, surprisingly, often, surprisingly, often, even in sophisticated medical environments, like in the in the UK. And so in order to help us human beings, because after all, even us professionals are just humans and even intelligent people do do make make foolish errors. These kinds of checklists. And sticking with the points that really do have an impact is the way to keep ourselves safe in the mountains, surgeons, it’s to keep the patient safe and a patient safety context. And it all comes around helping us to apply what we already know what our training has, has, has has has taught us. And I’ll just give you one more example for me, when I have a very simple example, when I go to the UK as a Yank in France, I know that I when I crossed the road I should be looking left first. But but when we get into a familiar environment, where we’re just into automatic system, one thinking is the behavioral psychologists and scientists call it you don’t even think even though you’re aware of it. And that’s why for example, well, number of people get killed by looking in the UK looking left first before they cross the street. And that’s why especially in London, you have this queue, look to the right. And all we’re doing in these sort of checklists, and applying decision making tools and things like that is basically that you see it every day when you’re in London look right? For those idiots who are coming from other countries, and may seem stupid, but even the most intelligent of people make these kinds of errors, despite knowing better. So another thing to sort of meditate on is what what the real challenges here for, for us educators. And


Henry Schniewind  14:33

in the area of avalanche risk reduction, accident reduction, which is really what I became seeing myself involved in more over the last sort of 10 years, I realized that if education isn’t enough, I really what I’m in is the business of accident reduction. And so even though snow science to me is fascinating, and that’s how I got into this whole thing. It’s no science and education isn’t enough and I And I found it fascinating that if, if if I was gonna stick with our mission of helping people have the most fun on the mountain and reducing accidents, that’s the way to have more fun in the mountains, is having an idea of how to reduce the risk of an accident, I found myself more and more getting getting involved in the behavioral science area. And I found that just as, as fascinating. And I found it fascinating because it’s led me into areas like the airline business, I have a friend who I don’t know if some of you I think, saw the webinar we did about it, almost two years ago now with my fighter pilot friend of mine, who was an airline pilot, as well, where they have led the way really with, with with checklists, and dealing with human factors and accepting human factors and errors is just, you know, as normal as as just about anything else we do in our lives, human factors has been found, you know, we make 30 errors every day. And, and so it’s important also, I like to point out that when, when professionals or experts get into problems and accidents and things like that, that it’s not, we’re pointing the finger and in terms of competence, it’s it’s, it’s just what we need to do is contain and reduce the errors in these high consequence and low validity or low feedback, concept. Context, reduce errors, but probably most importantly, or just as importantly, reducing the impact of those errors, because you’re never going to reduce errors completely. And so that’s why I thought it was important to also communicate the something I came across the other day where a research by NASA showed that you’d have a major commercial airline crash every single week, if there was no training and in human factors and, and teamwork as well, team, the copilot influence other people helping to correct errors that, you know, even the chief or the or the captain or the pilot, is, is perhaps embarking upon. So it’s really important for other people to be able to give feedback and correct our errors. So what we do in and hat is come up, taken all of this, together the checklists and things from various different avalanche risk reduction accident reduction checklist that have come out over the years, and also the surgical safety checklist, the airlines and financial sector. And we’ve come up with a framework and I’m very briefly going to go over this. And not I’m not going to do a talk for you right now. That’s for the UK tour and other webinars. But we have these three categories of where you go, which is decision making you start with that, how you go with this, which is risk reduction, once you’ve decided to go into avalanche terrain.


Henry Schniewind  18:04

How do you reduce the chances of an accident and crisis management and the idea is I didn’t mention this before, but the idea is that you could surprisingly save what Bruce Trumper found in his in his article, the risk of riding and Avalanche terrain was that if you apply all these points, these these accident reduction point points consistently off piste and ski touring can be as as safe as our everyday activities like driving for an hour, I think is one of the comparisons he made. But if you don’t, it can, if you don’t apply these accident reduction points it can be as dangerous as BASE jumping or even more dangerous than that. And so when I talk about the human factors here, there’s there’s there’s two directions with the human factors through training and a crisis management situation, what we’re doing is reducing the the deer in the headlights syndrome or the panic that can impede the rescue for for the victim slow it down or even maybe bring it to a paralysis that people are so stressed out that they can’t function. So that’s part of what the human factors what we address it Henry’s avalanche talk especially through the training with with a transceiver shovel and probe, but also the best strategy for for for crisis management and, and risk and, and, and rescue is is prevention. And that’s why the arrow brings us back to the core part of of, of the checklists with a framework here which is all about preventing an accident in the first place and preventing the human factors from leading us off into making decisions based on like, well there’s other people going there. There’s tracks over there, and if I don’t get on there really quickly, it’s all going to be tracked out and you know, we haven’t seen an avalanche so we should be fine. That’s the flood decision making and What we’re trying to do here is help people to replace the flawed decision making and risk reduction measures with with the ones that actually do impact and help you to have an experience in the mountain where you’re reducing the chances of an accident. And these are based on facts and evidence and can be substituted for the flawed decision making points is as easily as, as possible. And as easily as just sort of listening to the guy who sounds like he thinks he knows everything. And so another point that has been made not only by in McCammon, in the avalanche sector, but also in aviation and other areas is that these tools don’t need to be perfect to save lives. They, in fact, if they weren’t perfect, they wouldn’t be effective, because they’d be so lengthy and complicated to read that you wouldn’t they wouldn’t be applied. And I’ve just use a very quick example, I know it take off now in a commercial airlines, airline flight, there’s only three things that they look at. And they used to have a long list apparently, of things they would look at before takeoff, like checking the doors, but then they said, you know, what, if the doors weren’t closed correctly, no one’s gonna die, we wouldn’t be very intelligent. But you know, what you would do is go back and land again and close the doors correctly. But there’s other things, three key points that they look at. So they it’s not about getting things perfect, it’s getting people to apply, apply, apply the things will impact their safety in a positive way and help them to make be safer on the mountain. And what we’ve done is come up with a an accident reduction card here that I some people refer to as an info gram. And it has the framework that I just showed you in a card here that and these will all be given out at the talks we give. And all the events that we give, and in view of helping people apply the education and training that that we’ve, we’ve provided and these are also a very good complement to any avalanche training, that seems to usually leave people a little bit sort of overwhelmed and, and, and, and even more confusing than they started the training with.


Henry Schniewind  22:23

So that’s that. And then the next thing we’re going to look at is we’re just going to do a little piece on the climate change I get I get this a lot and I think you as journalists get up get the get the questions about climate change, and how it impacts avalanches. And I’m just briefly going to I’m gonna show you a quick video here, but very briefly, well, it’s a bit like what happens in the springtime, there’s maybe more Avila where there is more avalanches, but there’s less accidents. And that is because the danger is more predictable, not the exact places where avalanches are going to happen are more predictable, but the danger is more predictable. Basically, the warmer it gets you’re gonna get avalanche as it cools down, you’re gonna get less avalanches, so the types of avalanches that are going to occur more because of global warming are damage to infrastructure like we’ll see in this quick little video here. And perhaps in terms of accidents, we may get more accidents on closed roads and close roads because you see people venturing on closed runs and closed roads anyway and there may be more avalanches on close runs and close roads. So I’ll let you look at this video here and as a typical type of thing that we’ll see more of as temperatures increase over time.


Chris Radford  24:09

is really best to shape the


Henry Schniewind  24:15

do small to consume the boss blue book which is going to lead as you as you want to read it


Henry Schniewind  24:38

off this avalanche came down to over a closed walking path that actually just closed about half an hour before that so it’s not that that it’s any less dangerous and every time I mentioned this someone in the audience is also we don’t have to worry about avalanches in springtime and these wet snow avalanches no that’s not at all what I’m saying because even though they’re not as frequent certainly you do have to watch out for them but at least common sense works a lot better you can connect increases in temperature with with with more avalanche activity for example, whereas the cold dry slow of avalanches common sense and intuition don’t work or you know I’ll have some professionals say well you can develop intuition but it’s highly highly skilled in a tricky area Developing Intuition for avalanche safety in the mountains in the in the cold dry slab avalanche scenario the next one I’m going to show us is a wet snow avalanche that’s very dangerous and almost hit someone but again on a closed run I expect to see perhaps because of global warming more accidents on close runs and and roads which a lot of people as you all journalists have probably seen they don’t respect the closures um so I think if there’s more of these types of accidents, avalanches you’ll see more of these types of accidents oh shit


Chris Radford  26:31

oh font now gotta get it now there okay


Henry Schniewind  26:39

it’s okay, it’s gonna make it and that’s the road that was closed that it’s coming to right now. And you don’t see the person except for Jay and the left at the just the end of this video I have this on a blog post as well to look at it again way over on the left that tree person just got out of that where that avalanche goes not ski flyer Yep. He was lucky lottery So just in summary about sort of the we’re in the business of myth busting as well. The the global warming question also reinforces the the the educational side of things that that the the accidents you know, tend to happen and springtime and more towards the in December, January, February more towards the north side of the mountain. At this same point, what we’ll probably do is this hang that hand us over to my business partner, Chris Radford if he’s happy to take over and just give an overview of the UK tour that we’ve put together and in as a team again with with Rob and Chris, and their skills on on PR and, and marketing and communicating what benefits Henry’s avalanche talk hat has for the general public of in winter sports.


Chris Radford  28:24

How thanks Saturday, yeah. So the plan for this autumn is, in addition to a variation of this webinar, which is going to run on the next three Mondays, which is an opportunity for people to get a look at this subject and get a taste of what’s going on. Essentially, we’re proposing, we’re going to run three different types of events, the essentials talk, which introduces the framework, and introduces the essentials of how to stay safe, the in depth talk, which looks into much more detail about the science of how and why avalanches is triggered, as well as the human factors that lead people to make mistakes. And the avalanche transceiver training that we run, which is, as far as I can tell, where they were the only opportunity in the UK for people to spend a full two and a half to three hours practicing using a transceiver. And what we found was that we tried running these courses in resort, but people on holiday would rather spend their afternoon skiing or in the bar or something else. And during their training, but a winter Sunday or a Saturday and a weekend in the autumn in the UK seems like a good day out. So people come in and we give them the chance to practice several times. They get at least six goes of finding a hidden transceiver as well as an explanation as to what as to what’s involved. So that’s, that’s basically the structure of the tour. Well, I thought it might be just fun Henry to do briefly now as the poll and the questions, I’m just going to launch a quick poll and invite you to have a go these three just three questions and then it’ll give Henry a brief chance to talk about the answers. And so I’m launching this now and I believe that you can now see the questions and you can make your your choices as to what you think the correct answers is. I’ll just leave all three questions with you one rather than was read them all out


Henry Schniewind  30:43

are you can scroll down to see the other I didn’t see all of them


Henry Schniewind  30:52

and how do you choose? Sorry, I’m just trying to


Henry Schniewind  31:03

or maybe I have a different one


Chris Radford  31:21

one person has answered so far to free


Chris Radford  32:02

Okay, Henry, I think we’ll just, we’ll, we’ll just get you to. We got for now.


Henry Schniewind  32:13

We can’t see who it is who and now? Yeah, just go for and it’s good. It’s good. Just a little bit of discussion here too. So even if you put something down on the on on it, that’s it’s a bit, you know, even even provocative, you put something wrong on purpose, it’s fine.


Chris Radford  32:39

Okay, I’m going to share these results now. So I’m gonna end the poll. And if you’ve got any more answers, put them in now. And then I’ll just end the poll which allow me to share the results.


Henry Schniewind  32:51

While you’re doing that, I’m just gonna go back to the for the first one, I’m gonna go back to the slope, angle, slope aspect slide to answer.


Chris Radford  32:59

You just just talk. There we go. So I’m now sharing the results. So question one, we have three people answering the south facing slope. And on one answering no, what would your answer have been?


Henry Schniewind  33:19

Me if you look at the statistics here, there’s about 70% of of all accidents happen on the north ish side of the mountain. And then if you really want to get down down into the fine detail, pure North is about 19% versus about 4%. On the south side, and, and about, we generally say about 60% is on the north, north, northeast, north northwest. And, and so there’s more accidents on the north side of the mountain in December, January, February. Again, the way you can relate that is, is is probably to if, if you think about the type of avalanche, I’m just gonna get some of the stuff off my screen so I can talk to you a little bit larger here with me on here. It’s the cold dry slab avalanches that are involved with nine D percent or more of all of all avalanches. And and it’s on the north side that were of the mountain in December, January, February, where you’re going to triggered most of the most chance of triggering that. So yeah, in springtime and south facing slopes is about five to 10% of accident accidents and triggering


Chris Radford  34:37

and question two, which of the slope angles when avalanches is very likely? Very unlikely to be released? And we’ve got people selected 1525 30 and 5500.


Henry Schniewind  34:52

Yeah, that’s that’s, that’s pretty good. The most of you have probably heard or educated yourselves in the fact that the The 30 degrees is the threshold. So when for slab avalanche to release, you need a slope of 30 degrees or steeper. So if a slab avalanche to release and a slab avalanche of any size that will be, that could be of consequence to us below 30 degrees, it won’t release on. Now, one of the things for you as journalists is really important I’d like to communicate to you is that you can, in certain circumstances trigger an avalanche from a lower slope that will release on a slope That’s 30 degrees or more above you. So. So triggering can can occur in any area that is an avalanche terrain, avalanche terrain is anywhere where, below, above you, below you around you, there’s 30 degree slopes. And so you and the higher the danger rating is, the more chance you you can trigger from a distance, remote trigger is the word and in French, they call it add distance. And then it’s true, whoever there was a couple of use above 55 degrees, once you start getting really, really steep, then there’s a lot less avalanches as well. But then there’s other issues tend to come into into the picture other dangers, those of you been on 55 degree slopes, it’s way steeper than a black slope, a black, a black run is about 30, the average run of average picture of a black run is about 30 degrees, 35 degrees or so a steep steep red run, is maybe we’ll get in some places up to 30 degrees just to give you that gives you an idea.


Chris Radford  36:37

And question three, which of these actions were used to ensure the safety of the group? So everybody’s put down transceiver check? Which is great. Three people have suggested digging a snow Banri What’s your thoughts on that?


Henry Schniewind  36:50

Snow, but I listen, I have been studying the subject for snow and Avalanche snow science for for years. And if you come to my in depth talk, you’ll just see how passionate I am about what’s actually happening in the snow in the snowpack. But for a whole host of reasons. I believe and most of the professional community now agrees that just leave the snow pits to the experts and read their summaries and how they brought it together in the in the avalanche bulletins. And because digging a snow pit, one of the reasons is the technical word spatial variation, meaning the snowpack you dig here, it can be an almost always is very different than the snow pit, that would be three or four meters away. And also, when you’re doing compression tests, and all that kind of stuff, you need to have done, you know, dozens and dozens and dozens of these things to start getting the results and the feedback that you can use on the mountain. And I also have issues with the correlations between the feedback you get from a compression test and getting a layer to go on a weak layer and actually having it happen on a slope that you’re skiing on or walking on.


Chris Radford  38:01

And people have very wisely not sorts jump on the snow followed previous tracks and or wait for others to go and then go afterwards. But I’ve also been correct mounting answered under the last with the last three points. Well, I just mentioned about the avalanche bulletin and consulted police patrol and looking for evidence of recent avalanche activity being primary things that we recommend.


Henry Schniewind  38:26

Yeah, I in terms of snow in this is what we’re looking at. All of this is based on the a lot of these things are based on trying to assess the snow stability, which even at the best of times by the highest experts is going to be uncertain. So that’s why recent avalanche activity is a very, is quite a good indicator. And, and the bulletin the morning again and the way I really relate the bullets into the morning to recent avalanche activities. The first thing I look at is the bulletin which comes out actually the day before usually about four or five in the afternoon. It’s recent avalanche activity, they’re almost always they’ll talk about it, there’s an accidental avalanche, there was an accident the day before, even if someone just triggered an avalanche in the local area. And they’ll talk about natural avalanches to which you know more natural avalanche activity most of the time means that there’s going to be more higher accidental avalanche risk of triggering an avalanche. And then the transceiver trick is just so important just to get people thinking in the mindset, because one thing I didn’t really emphasize as much as I should have is, is that the in the checklist frameworks and all that kind of thing, they don’t work on their own, it takes a team and everybody that copilot point that I brought up, everybody’s really got to be on the same page for applying the prevention points that will that will have that will have impact.


Chris Radford  39:53

So thank you very much Henry. And I think that brings us on a wrap on on and really just Same. Are there any other questions or anything else that we should deal with? I, I can bring people into the meeting, too. Yeah, if anybody wants to put everybody on allowed to talk, and then



I think we’ve got a few minutes for questions, I’ll just jump in there. Maybe if people are thinking about a question, or they’re going to type something into the q&a box or raise their hand, I mean, Henry, one thing I was thinking of, you know, you, we talk about the airline industry, and how we can compare the checklists for, you know, forever, like safety with with what they do in the airline industry. But I suppose, as the as the question I’ve got to you as a professional, and as a guide, and as a leader is, you know, it’s quite different from being a pilot, isn’t it, I mean, when you get on a plane, your primary objective is just to get there, safely. Whereas when you’re skiing on a mountain, you want to be safe, that’s probably your primary objective. But you also have quite a strong desire to have fun, as well, which not necessarily as, you know, a pilot has to doesn’t really have to provide fun just as to get you there. So as a leader, you know, where do you draw the line and on how you deal with people that are, you know, perhaps even, you know, putting pressure on you, and I’m wanting to go to places where you might not think is the right place to go? And how do you draw the line, I suppose How do you draw the line with that? And how do you deal with that situation?


Henry Schniewind  41:22

No, that’s good. That’s good question. And what I wanted to do was also, I meant to mention to everybody, and I will and the public seminar tonight, where we have quite a few people. And we’ve already heard got some feedback on Twitter from people have said that they, they won’t go with guides because they think it’s too dangerous, or whatever. I think the thing is, is that people need to see themselves in off piste. And ski touring situations when you’re with a professional. And what we do at Henry’s avalanche talk is designed to help people have more fun, and be safer with or without a professional is is, is just communicate with the with the professional and you can simply say, look, I really want to have a good time, I want to find good snow, because I love the sport. But I want you to know that safety is my primary is my priority. And and even if we have craps, no, it doesn’t matter to me. It may seem like it’s, it’s obvious to you, but it’s not. And, and you know what, because we’re being paid to find people good snow. And as you as you alluded to find people good to know and keep it safe at the same time. And you know, and it’s because the avalanche thing isn’t the only thing going on, you know, someone might have forgotten to ski paths, or they’re climbing skins, we got pulled off in all kinds of directions. And you know, a lot of times, getting the good snow is what will become a priority at the expense of other things. And it’s not, it’s not something we consciously will be aware of. And in order to be really helped help us because we’re only human, help us to be just really fully conscious of that. Remind your professional you’re with that, you know that? Even if it’s craps, no, it’s not a big deal you much rather have a habit safe. And, and because I strongly believe when I look at my colleagues and myself, that it’s not the pressure necessarily that the clients put on us. It’s the pressure we put on ourselves, we do this because we love the love it is our passion. And we want to share that with people. And sometimes that passion, you know, can can can get the better of us when as I said we’re we’re only human and this is one of the reasons why I mentioned that, you know, the the framework and our training and everything. It’s designed for everybody beginners as a point of departure expert skiers as a as a way of focusing on on accident reduction, but also professionals as a training tool and also a memory. I do a lot of what I what I do like today to remind myself constantly remind myself to be applying what I say we should be doing.



And another just another question, really, I suppose is, you know, recently we heard of the really sad death of ski mountaineer Hilary Nelson, who was an incredibly experienced skier and climber, mountaineer. Yeah. And she was with her partner at the time, I believe, quite close to the top of the peak, and just starting at the scent. When an avalanche when when an avalanche was triggered, I believe the avalanche was triggered by by her and then she was taken off, swept off her feet and fell a long way down the mountain, this terrible accident. I mean, do you think that’s I suppose the question I’ve got is that do you think that’s something do that we’re that you’re highlighting now. You know, the risk is so is there for people that are at that level. And do you think that accident was preventable? I suppose is the question at the end of the day. It’s hard We’ll think to try and think of, but do you think that’s that particular accident could have been preventable. And


Henry Schniewind  45:06

what comes to my mind right off the top, Rob is, is, is when I mentioned before about snow and snow boostability being inherently uncertain no matter how much experience you have. And that’s why I, with my training, and I know a lot of other professional educators are doing this. They’re veering away from spending so much time in snow pits and talking about snow stability, and veering away and towards terrain and emphasizing terrain because terrain is, is the way better option to focus on because it’s concrete, you can see it. And and, and it’s something you can base solid decisions on and it gets away from that low validity, low feedback side of things. And so if you look at the framework, actually, as I’m looking at it right here, terrain is the 30 degrees, terrain is terrain, traps. distances, is something that we can do, but it’s not snow related necessarily. It’s about a matter of being lessening the exposure in the group to to the uncertain thing. And then the safe and safer zones is all about terrain as well going to what sometimes is referred to as islands of safety. So that is really what I wanted to communicate to everybody who’s who’s listening today. But also I think with Hillary, these are really experienced mountaineer, so they knew the risks they were getting involved in. But what I come down to a lot is that is that if you look at the statistics of most winters, and the avalanche accidents, if you will, if you went if you made the decision to go on 30 degree slopes or more, which is this decision making category. If you decide to go on steep slopes, and you avoid terrain traps, then you will if victims had done that, then we would probably cut the the accident numbers down in in half. So steep slopes above terrain traps are probably the most deadly combination. And to sum up what we looked at today, in this very brief session, it wasn’t wasn’t aimed at avalanche education, it was more about letting everybody you all in on what what we’re up to. But if everybody just applied those two things, we’re avoiding terrain traps on steep slopes, terrain traps, of course, they’re cliffs, holes, where the snow can dig, dig up, build up really deeply trees and things like that, then we’d avoid a lot of accidents. And I know how Hillary knew that if she felt that there would be you know, serious consequences, but it’s the snow, the snow stability thing that gets all of us experts is really, really difficult. And it’s the most misleading thing as well. Does that answer your question?



I think so, Henry. Thank you. Okay. I’m not sure if we have any other questions from the audience. But so at this point, I would like to say thank you, for everybody for joining this media session. Remember, there is also the media webinars starting this evening. There’s the talks that start on the first of November that go around the UK, certainly England and into Scotland as well. If you would like to attend one of those talks, please let me know. And we can make arrangements for that. And would be great to see you on Wimbledon common on the fourth of November as well. There’ll be more information coming out soon about that. To summarize what we’ve talked about here, you know, application of knowledge is the key and Henry’s avalanched talk will continue to provide education, as it has always done, but it will this year in particular, going forwards be emphasizing how to apply that and one of the things you know is is the tool, such as the actual accident reduction guide that Henry’s avalanche talk is introducing to help skiers and snowboarders when they’re actually on the mountain apply the knowledge that they are they are learning regards to climate change, we can see that climate change can and probably will have an impact on avalanches, especially for infrastructure, but not necessarily. I suppose we could say for for people and accidents. But you know, there will be there will be changes. And there there is a lot more detail on that. I know Henry you haven’t covered today and things we can discuss on that on that side. And so, so yeah, really, really interesting. Thanks very much, Henry. Thanks, Chris. Thanks for everybody for listening. I


Henry Schniewind  49:55

want to see if anybody if anyone wants to make a comment as well before we sign off fear that’s fine if I see the list of people who are attending and, you know, I’ve had discussions with, I think just a lot of you anyway on various different subjects. Feel free to throw in a comment if you wanted to just go beyond the question and throw something else out there. That’s, that’s perfectly fine as well. Otherwise, I’ll let you finish things off then rob.



That’s great, Henry. Good. Good chance for a last minute opportunity there. But no, thanks very much. And hopefully see you all soon. Thanks. Good, Henry.


Henry Schniewind  50:37

Take care of thank you all and have a have a great, great season. If I don’t see you all at once. As Rob said, hopefully, we’ll see you in Wimbledon common. Hopefully we’ll see you at the at the talks. But if not, then have a great season. I have a CGC a couple of questions in here. Well, thanks for those comments, guys. All right, and have a great season if I don’t see you.