Avalanche Information Quote
AVALANCHE INFORMATION An Avalanche is a rapid flow of snow down a hill or mountainside. They tend to happen during the Winter months in the Northern Hemisphere, between December and April. In…
An Avalanche is a rapid flow of snow down a hill or mountainside. They tend to happen during the Winter months in the Northern Hemisphere, between December and April.
In normal circumstances, you should be safe in villages, on marked and open pistes in Europe, and open areas within the Ski Area Boundary in North America. But as soon as you venture outside these Avalanche Controlled Areas, the risks escalate.
Most Avalanche victims are holiday Skiers or Riders who have gone off-piste. According to the Swiss Federal Institute of Snow and Avalanche Research, the victims set off almost all fatal Avalanches.
Of the 600 cases studied in a recent report, 80% were set off by Off Piste or Cross Country Skiers. Snowboarders and Hikers accounted for the other 20%.
If you are unlucky enough to be taken by an Avalanche, try to escape to the side or grab a rock or a tree. If you are knocked down, try to ditch your equipment and swim to stay on top and avoid obstacles.
As the Avalanche slows down, try to swim to the surface or make an air pocket around your mouth and nose. Try to keep your mouth shut at all times.
It would be best if you were found and dug out as rapidly as possible. A study of Avalanche accidents by researchers at the University of Innsbruck showed that 92% of Skiers entirely buried by snow were still alive after 15 minutes. After 45 minutes, the survival rate dropped to 25%. The last 25% survived for one more hour on average.
So, rescuing Avalanche victims quickly is the key to saving lives. Carrying and using the proper Safety Equipment off-piste is essential. If you wish to purchase some Safety Equipment, please visit our website: www.snowsafe.co.uk
Avalanches occur when the stress of pulling the snow downhill (gravity) is greater than the strength of the snow cover (the bonding of snow crystals). The four ingredients for an avalanche are:
- A Steep Slope - 90% of all Avalanches start on 30 - 45 degrees slopes.
- A Weak Layer in the Snow Cover - Fresh avalanches or cracks in the snow indicate unstable snow cover. Snow that has become wet from thaw or rain can be dangerous.
- Snow Cover - more than 80% of Avalanches occur during or just after heavy snowfalls and strong winds.
- A Trigger - a Skier or Snowboarder's weight on the unstable snowpack can often be enough trigger to set off an avalanche.
All Resorts do their best to minimise the risk of Avalanches. Pistes that could be at risk are closed and often trigger explosions in potentially dangerous areas - cornices, etc.
Daily Avalanche hazard ratings are posted for Skiers and Snowboarders to assess the conditions better (in Europe, these are done on a scale of one to five, while in North America, they use colour coding).
LEVEL ONE (GREEN) indicates LOW RISK - natural Avalanches are unlikely. The snow is generally stable. Travel around the mountains is usually safe, although usual caution is advised.
LEVEL TWO (YELLOW) indicates MODERATE RISK - natural Avalanches are unlikely, although human-triggered Avalanches are possible. Use caution on steeper terrain in certain aspects. There may be unstable slabs on steeper terrain.
LEVEL THREE (ORANGE) indicates CONSIDERABLE RISK - natural Avalanches are possible, and human-triggered avalanches are probable. Unstable slabs are likely on steeper terrain. Use increasing caution and be aware of potentially dangerous areas of unstable snow.
LEVEL FOUR (RED) indicates HIGH RISK - natural and human-triggered Avalanches are likely. Unstable slabs are possible on a variety of aspects and slope angles. Travel in Avalanche terrain is not recommended. The safest journey is on windward ridges or gentler slopes without steeper terrain above.
LEVEL FIVE (RED WITH BLACK BORDER OR BLACK) indicates EXTREME RISK - widespread natural or human-triggered avalanches certain. Extremely unstable slabs on most aspects and slope angles. Large destructive avalanches are possible. Travel in Avalanche should be avoided and confined to gentle terrain well away from avalanche-path runouts.
Healix Insurance Services Ltd, on behalf of Hamilton Insurance DAC, arranges this Travel Insurance policy for Jade Stanley Ltd. Healix Insurance Ltd is registered in England and Wales under No. 5484190 and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under No. 437248. Hamilton Insurance DAC is registered in Ireland No. 484148, authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland, and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority in connection with their UK branch. Jade Stanley Ltd is registered in England and Wales under No. 03570857 and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under No. 306205.