Henry’s Avalanche Talk (HAT) provides training and essential information for skiers who want to go off piste, but are held back by fear of the unknown. HAT is known for helping ordinary skiers have an extraordinary experience off-piste. We aim to leave people feeling liberated and unleashed.
Henry’s Avalanche Talk (HAT) was founded by Henry Schniewind. HAT has been around for 25 years and grown into a team of off-piste professionals. We have given talks and courses to tens of thousands of people, presented at international snow science conferences and published many papers and articles, often in the British press.
There are two types of skiers we help. The first are experienced skiers who go off-piste, take risks they don’t understand and could easily suffer an avalanche accident. The second are regular skiers who are reluctant to go off-piste because they think it is dangerous and scary due to avalanche danger and the hazards of navigating unfamiliar terrain.
But avalanche accidents are not random unpredictable events. It is a fact that 9 out of 10 avalanche victims trigger the avalanche themselves. This means that once you know how to manage the risks, you can make the off-piste no riskier than driving your car at home. The conventional solution is to hire a guide, but they are expensive and are often reluctant to share their knowledge. If people do look up professional avalanche literature it tends to reinforce the idea that this stuff is too difficult to learn and that off-piste remains off limits, dangerous and scary.
So we have created a method that demystifies the expertise and teaches skiers how they can go beyond the piste, have much more fun and stay safe, all at the same time. The programme helps people answer the critical question “Is it safe out there?” We explain that there is no simple yes or no answer. The right answer is it depends on you. It depends on where you go and when, how you go down or up and how well prepared you are.
We deliver training in the UK, Val d’Isere and online. HAT is known for helping ordinary skiers have an extraordinary experience off-piste. We aim to leave people feeling liberated and unleashed.