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  #21  
Old 19.01.2016, 15:13
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

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Back to the original question, the marked "yellow" ski routes in Switzerland are normally avalanche safe (if marked as open) but not groomed.
This is faulty reasoning. They can and will be closed if the resort thinks they're too risky, but the fact of them, or any groomed trail, being open does NOT equate to them being 'avalanche safe'.

I think the OP's question, I think it's been answered already, but in essence the Swiss and general European approach is that no-one can prohibit you from skiing anywhere if you want to, and conversely that wherever you do ski you're doing so at your own risk. No such thing as a safety guarantee, not here or anywhere.
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  #22  
Old 19.01.2016, 16:05
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

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I'm a decent skier, not amazing, but there really isn't a piste I can't tackle. In CH, when I go off-piste, I always go with a guide. It is pricey, but the piece of mind is well worth it. Usually we go to a normal resort where we meet the guide, they'll usually take us to find powder within the range of the lifts, or with a short walk or trek. I find that most resorts know of the off piste within their area and do make an effort to have it relatively safe---but they always stress, they are not monitored.


When I was younger riding back-country in BC and Alberta, I never imagined about getting a guide, the increased risk is that in Western Canada---if you make a bad turn, you could be lost for weeks! Here in CH it's not as likely to get lost :P
"Here in CH it's not as likely to get lost " (it`s)? except under an Avalanche.
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  #23  
Old 19.01.2016, 16:09
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

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"Here in CH it's not as likely to get lost " (it`s)? except under an Avalanche.
Or in thick fog. I suppose you could just ski downwards but the problem is that a lot of those seemingly gentle slopes end in cliffs.
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Old 19.01.2016, 16:28
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

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"Here in CH it's not as likely to get lost " (it`s)? except under an Avalanche.


It's not likely to get lost, he's not likely to get lost, she's not likely to get lost, the dog is not likely to get lost.


your absolutely right, my grammer sucks


'it is not easy to get lost' is I guess, what I wanted to say.


Either way, going to tempt fate and hit some power on Saturday!
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Old 19.01.2016, 16:41
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

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It's not likely to get lost, he's not likely to get lost, she's not likely to get lost, the dog is not likely to get lost.


your absolutely right, my grammer sucks


'it is not easy to get lost' is I guess, what I wanted to say.


Either way, going to tempt fate and hit some power on Saturday!
"you(`)re absolutely right"

I guess (that) I will never be able to pretend that I am Canadian. My punctuation will let me down. Either way hit some powder (hopefully not in small packets)
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  #26  
Old 19.01.2016, 16:51
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

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"you(`)re absolutely right"

I guess (that) I will never be able to pretend that I am Canadian. My punctuation will let me down. Either way hit some powder (hopefully not in small packets)


...and you missed the grammar misspelling.


I guess I should have posted the /s x 2 indicator
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  #27  
Old 19.01.2016, 18:06
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

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"Here in CH it's not as likely to get lost " (it`s)? except under an Avalanche.
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Or in thick fog. I suppose you could just ski downwards but the problem is that a lot of those seemingly gentle slopes end in cliffs.
Thing is you don't need to be lost for weeks; end up in the wrong valley and break your leg and a few hours is plenty of time to kill you.

Also a lot of the smaller resorts are reached by a cablecar from low level - look at somewhere like Ebenalp, it's basically surrounded by cliffs on three sides.

I've skied every piste in Flumserberg at least 20 times, but a couple of weekends ago I still had to go from pole to pole on a simple red where the snow had blown over in a whiteout! Losing it wouldn't have been a disaster, but it would have been a very unpleasant slog through rough ground in ski boots - in a whiteout you often can't even tell which way is down or if you're moving, let alone what is in front of you.
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  #28  
Old 19.01.2016, 18:09
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

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...and you missed the grammar misspelling.


I guess I should have posted the /s x 2 indicator
I was trying to be kind.
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Old 19.01.2016, 18:25
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

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Thing is you don't need to be lost for weeks; end up in the wrong valley and break your leg and a few hours is plenty of time to kill you.
You don't even need to break your leg. Many moons ago, skiing on the Stoos in thick fog with Mr L., I heard a kid crying. It worried me and we tramped back uphill through the fog in the direction on the sound. There was an unmarked short cut on a dog-leg. This kid was there and had broken the front tip off one of his skis. (in the days of wooden skis, this was possible). The youngster had been with a school group but obviously no-one had noticed him drop behind. As he wasn't on the main piste, the group could have gone up and down half a dozen times looking for him and not seen him at all. I stayed with the lad while Mr. L skiied down to the bottom station where they had 'tips' which fitted over the front of a broken ski to prevent it from digging itself into the snow. It was quite a time before Mr. L. got back to us but one very happy lad came safely down.
I honestly don't know what would have happened had we not heard him. The fog didn't clear at all and no-one would have had a clue where to start looking.
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  #30  
Old 06.02.2016, 18:26
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

Another nasty accidents in Austrian Alps. It's not clear if it's happened off piste but more news should be coming in shortly.

Austrian avalanche: Czech skiers killed in Alps
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35513332
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Old 06.02.2016, 18:48
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

Slightly off topic.. I went to a great talk by the authors of this new book last night (french only, I'm afraid). It's mainly intended for backcountry skiers (if that is the right translation for "ski de randonnée").
https://www.editionspaulsen.com/aval...du-risque.html

Their point is that the avalanche risk scale is only the start of making an intelligent assessment of when off piste is "safe". The two main factors to consider are the orientation (North facing doubles the risk) and angle of slope (40° is twice as dangerous as 35° that is twice as dangerous as 30°).

The good news is that the Swiss have vastly improved over the last 10 years, thanks to careful training of guides and instructors. The French remain true to type - a bunch of reckless headbangers - ten French guides die every year...
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Old 13.03.2016, 11:28
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

Extremely treacherous Alps this season - another sad accident.

Italian Alps avalanche kills six near Monte Nevoso
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35793918
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  #33  
Old 14.03.2016, 15:14
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

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Extremely treacherous Alps this season - another sad accident.

Italian Alps avalanche kills six near Monte Nevoso
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35793918
I'm curious where you get your facts? In Switzerland there are 11 avalanche deaths this season compared to over 20 this time last year. It seems like a much safer winter to me, so far.

Sources:
http://www.slf.ch/schneeinfo/wochenb...ht_1415_de.pdf
http://www.slf.ch/praevention/lawine...tuell/index_DE
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  #34  
Old 14.03.2016, 23:25
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

I think OP meant something like this on the right of first pic, all over french alps (not sure about swiss, but why shouldn't there be?). It looks like a weird pipe straight from the mountain.

They use a mix of oxygen and propane i think, are triggered by simple button press remotely, ie in the night when operators decide that it's better to use them. They pop an explosion strong enough to trigger any potential slide around. Examples can be seen are in Chamonix and La Clusaz (my preferred spots, not only for off-piste).

Now is this 100%? Of course, nothing is. 100% safety means staying home. Last year some people died on the pistes too. Taking a guide gives you best localized evaluation, but it's only so far it will go, plus there is no element of independence, you are taken by hand like a child by professional. Czech people killed last month had quite a few certified expert guides (and yes they have same training and certs as Swiss ones, nothing less) and look what happened. Also if you look at stats at slf.ch, there are quite a few deaths in last 15 years with avalanche level 1!

Stats are not that bad for this winter, but generally it's bad conditions there. Crappy start of the winter contributed, layers are not so bound as they should be.

I've personally seen rescue efforts of one guy in avalanche a month ago near La Clusaz - in the morning level was 2, when I came back that day it was 4 (when I came when they were already packing - altogether cca 100 people involved, including 2 dogs and 3 choppers, guy sadly died in hospital next day Last week friend's friend got caught in a massive one near Bonneville while touring, he is in coma now after full cardiac arrest (basically he died and was revived) and might never get back.

If in any doubts, I rather skip the adrenaline part this winter, and advise other to do the same (on the other hand, Vallee Blanche last weekend was pure awesomeness, but that is more about crevasses than avalanches, see the other photo)
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off-piste-avalanche-secured-skiing-safety.jpg   off-piste-avalanche-secured-skiing-dsc2190.jpg  
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  #35  
Old 14.03.2016, 23:34
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Re: Off-piste avalanche-secured skiing

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I've personally seen rescue efforts of one guy in avalanche a month ago near La Clusaz - in the morning level was 2, when I came back that day it was 4
I really don't believe that, I have never seen such a thing & been in Chamonix all season. la Clusaz is just down the valley....... You would need 1.5 meters of snow to fall during the day if not more for the risk to change from 2 to 4, that won't happen & the lifts stay open.
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