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Old 10.03.2017, 00:20
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on piste avalanche

I was planning to go for skiing this weekend, and accidentally found the avalanche level of the ski resort to be 4/5 (4 is high and 5 is critical). Seems to me the many of Alps resorts are all above 4.

I did a quick search and found most accidents happened in off-piste slopes, it seems on-piste slopes are rarely threatened by avalanche, probably because the resort's management usually closes dangerous slopes based on some real-time report/monitoring?

Do I need to worry about Avalanche if I only stay at on-piste slopes?
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Old 10.03.2017, 00:46
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Re: on piste avalanche

Recent post: Avalanche on a blue piste in Tignes
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Old 10.03.2017, 01:15
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Re: on piste avalanche

Resorts try to make sure that the pistes are safe before opening them - for examples, they will set off explosives on any slope which might avalanche onto a piste. This is meant to trigger any potential avalanche in a controlled way. Often when a resort starts late after a heavy snow, this is what they are doing.

Therefore an avalanche on an active piste is rare, even when the warning level is high. The Tignes event is an example of this sort of rare failure.

In these conditions, I would not worry on piste, but I would think twice about ducking a rope.
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Old 10.03.2017, 01:18
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Re: on piste avalanche

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I was planning to go for skiing this weekend, and accidentally found the avalanche level of the ski resort to be 4/5 (4 is high and 5 is critical). Seems to me the many of Alps resorts are all above 4.

I did a quick search and found most accidents happened in off-piste slopes, it seems on-piste slopes are rarely threatened by avalanche, probably because the resort's management usually closes dangerous slopes based on some real-time report/monitoring?

Do I need to worry about Avalanche if I only stay at on-piste slopes?
You really don't have to worry on piste, even with the avalanche that crossed the piste at Tignes, nobody was buried despite the BBC reports.
The risk at the weekend is likely to be different than today. If a piste is in danger it's usually closed.
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Old 10.03.2017, 02:02
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Re: on piste avalanche

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You really don't have to worry on piste, even with the avalanche that crossed the piste at Tignes, nobody was buried despite the BBC reports.
The risk at the weekend is likely to be different than today. If a piste is in danger it's usually closed.
Would the same apply to hiking routes? I'm planning to do a few winterwanderwegs on Schatzalp this weekend and noticed that some of the routes in Klosters were closed today but not in Davos.
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Old 10.03.2017, 10:09
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Re: on piste avalanche

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Would the same apply to hiking routes? I'm planning to do a few winterwanderwegs on Schatzalp this weekend and noticed that some of the routes in Klosters were closed today but not in Davos.
Would apply to officially prepared hiking routes.
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Old 17.03.2017, 10:39
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Re: on piste avalanche

Here's a good set of pictures of a perfect avalanche slope - slide 5 is a classic with slope around 45%, no trees, deep and fresh snow.

http://www.blick.ch/news/ausland/mon...id6379801.html

They had a guide who probably had (or thought he had) local knowledge, but I would not go anywhere near that slope.

The next page has a bizarre statement from the local mountain rescue guy.

"Despite the avalanche stage two the tour is quite possible with these circumstances", says Veider.

Obviously it wasn't, and it highlights that the avalanche risk level is only a guideline, not a guarantee.
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Old 17.03.2017, 11:10
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Re: on piste avalanche

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The next page has a bizarre statement from the local mountain rescue guy.

"Despite the avalanche stage two the tour is quite possible with these circumstances", says Veider.
Not really - he's basically saying they weren't negligent in going there in the conditions, just very unlucky.

As far as I can see it's north facing so really a bit surprising so much let go like that so long after the last snow. Given the profile, aspect and warning level I could well imagine myself having also made the decision to go (I don't know if there were any other warning signs but to me it sounds like these were probably experienced tourers who would know what to look for).

But as a tourer I also know you can never be absolutely 100% certain.
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Old 21.03.2017, 16:40
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Re: on piste avalanche

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Do I need to worry about Avalanche if I only stay at on-piste slopes?


I've been skiing forever and answer is no, you don't need to worry about avalanches on slopes.


Someone will soon come and say "that's not true, look at this article or this clip" - Yes, of course it can happen, but in relation to anything else, that risk is so minimal that you'd be safer on the slope (if avalanche was the only risk) than anywhere else.


Enjoy skiing, wear helmet and have a shot for me too
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