Henry’s next webinar will address this question

Bruce Tremper discussed this in a blog back in 2009. Click here to read that blog.  Henry will examine this question in a new webinar that we will broadcast in October 2023. 


Henry will show how you can reduce the risk to one that is no greater than driving a car to the resort. The key thing is …

It all depends on whether you apply what you know

In his blog, Bruce Tremper observes that:

Our lives revolve around risk, but it’s a concept most of us don’t understand well. The human brain is good at many things, such as pattern recognition and the nuances of social interaction, but it is notoriously poor at statistics and probability.

People who are afraid to fly don’t mind driving, although, on average, you would have to fly every day for 4,000 years for you to be killed on a commercial aviation flight – whereas automobile fatalities are so common you hardly see them mentioned in the newspaper anymore (32,000 per year in the U.S.)

We’re afraid to let our kids ride the bus to school, yet there are only 3 deaths per year on school buses and 600 per year from parents driving their kids to school.

So what is the risk of recreating in avalanche terrain compared to other activities?  Henry will examine this at our events this Autumn.

Bruce Tremper reaches a fascinating and encouraging conclusion

Skiing and riding in avalanche terrain is surprisingly safe as long as it’s done using all the risk reduction measures taught in avalanche classes. It’s about the same risk as driving one hour to the trailhead.

There is a big BUT

But randomly riding in 10 potential avalanche paths per day without any risk reduction measures at Considerable or High Danger can be one of the most dangerous sports in the world.

Someone who randomly (i.e. without taking risk reduction measures) rides the centre line of 10 slopes per day in terrain rated as Moderate Danger (2 on a scale of 5) takes roughly the same risk as whitewater kayaking or skydiving.  But still much less dangerous than riding a motorcycle.

Randomly riding the centre line of 10 slopes per day in terrain rated as Considerable Danger (3 on a scale of 5) has roughly the same risk as base jumping, which is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous sports, and one with a notoriously short expected lifespan for regular participants.

Doing the same in terrain rated as High Danger (4 on a scale of 5) is one of the most dangerous activities in the world besides climbing above 8,000 meters.

The Ortovox Off Piste Awareness Tour

This will be a central theme for Henry’s off piste awareness talks around the UK this Autumn  Click here for more info