There are some instructional and practical ‘recent avalanche activity’ images and comments on

Instructional not only for current conditions, but on the practical importance of ‘recent avalanche activity’ for decision making and risk management. There’s also a reminder here that not loosing sight of simple facts and evidence is important – especially when it comes to decision making and risk management. Much of the time we don’t get much feedback from this risk context… even when we might have just have had a ‘near miss’; right now is a great opportunity to observe the feedback and take note.

This image of a slab avalanche triggered remotely (à distance in French) from 200 m reminds me of a quote from Bruce Tremper in an article from this past February 2020 in The Avalanche Review (the official publication from the American Avalanche Association). The article features comments and opinions from top avalanche experts on a technical project entitled Conceptual Model of Avalanche Hazard (CMAH). The article is highly technical, but about half way through Bruce’s piece, he cuts right to an essential, practical avalanche forecasting point:

“But I always think about how Ed LaChapelle (a legendary avalanche expert from the 60’s and 70’s) would come back to visit Alta and his first question to the local avalanche workers was ‘What are the avalanches doing?’ He would never ask about our theories or beliefs. It’s all about the avalanches and if so, how sensitive are they? … How deep? How wide? Remote Triggers?…”

In risk management and ‘safety’, facts and evidence should never be lost under the shadows of theories and beliefs. It’s especially true now in the Alps… especially true now in our lives in general.

You can get more info on this particular image on this link:

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.