NOTHING HAPPENS… most of the time

Off-piste skiing and touring can be surprisingly safe. It can be as safe as driving your car for a couple of hours a day, if you regularly apply all the risk reduction measures that you learn in avalanche training. If you do not apply these measures, it can be surprisingly dangerous. Why wouldn’t you apply simple risk reduction measures? ​Because nothing happens most of the time when you don’t apply them. Observation and research show that, even if you ski on hundreds... Read More


The off piste awareness tour from Henry's Avalanche Talk
The off piste awareness tour

At HAT we used to call our talks “avalanche talks” because they were primarily about avoiding avalanche danger. We now prefer to call them “off piste awareness talks”. We have evolved our training and events to be not just about avalanches, but about making the most of the off-piste. Off-piste is about discovering more of the mountain, it is about getting more from your skiing and for many helps them fall back in love with the sport. This is why we d... Read More


UTAH avalanche centre education
Utah celebrates a season with zero avalanche deaths

Report from Back Country Magazine What a success for the Utah Avalanche Centre and their work to educate backcountry skiers. We have yet to make this kind of progress in Europe. But we are getting there and awareness is increasing. However there is a long way to go to get avalanche education recognised as an essential precondition for going off piste. The 2017 winter season—bringing record-breaking snowfall, high winds and extreme avy danger on more than one occasion—is o... Read More


Off Piste Snow and Weather: 9 - 15 March
Off Piste Snow and Weather: 9 – 15 March

Much milder for the next few days. Maybe more snow showers from Sunday. Off-piste snow report for 9 – 15 March for Savoie & Northern French Alps This week it’s just kept on and on snowing. There is now a thick layer of recent snow (100 cm +) all over the mountain, lying on top of the older snow. This has been of fantastic quality in the last few days. We’ve been taking it super-cautiously, sticking to low slope angles (below 30°) and not […]... Read More


piste patrol rescue Tignes Avalanche
Henry Schniewind on Sky News about Tignes Avalanche

Tignes avalanche March 7th 2017, Carline Piste Henry was interviewed today on Sky News about the Tignes avalanche on the Carline piste.  You can watch the interview here What do we know about this avalanche event?  Well not any more than you can read in the press reports and in the Mountain Echo.  Most importantly no-one was seriously hurt.  Although I imagine many were very shocked.  We do not expect avalanches to cross the piste.  There will be an official investigati... Read More


Avalanche Bulletin Savoie March 8th
Translation of Avalanche Bulletin for 8th March

Haute Tarentaise – Savoie – risk is high, level 4 Read the original avalanche bulletin here The snow pack will start to settle but we have a thick layer of recent snow (up to 100 cm) which is very unstable. This is why we should expect natural releases and even more so with the warming or even a little rain in the afternoon (possible slope releases onto the mountain roads under 1600/2000 m ). “One or two” big avalanches are always possible […]... Read More


Snowy March 6th Val d'Isere
High avalanche risk Tuesday 7th March – practical ti...

Risk of avalanche is high or very high on Tuesday There have been two avalanche accidents in Italy in the past 3 days.  See reports here and here.  Meteo France have just issued the bulletin click here and warning for Tuesday 7th March.  The danger rating is forecast to be level 4.         Judging by the continuing snowfall and wind in the resort this evening, the resort could choose to increase the rating to level 5.  they will decide […]... Read More


Off Piste Snow and Weather Report 16 - 22 February
Off Piste Snow and Weather 16 – 22 February

Sunny days and settled weather ahead. After the shock of the Tignes avalanche accident, the off-piste snow stability will improve.  But there are still places where we need to be careful. There is a weakness in the snowpack that has been present since the start of the season.  See ANENA warning.  The weather will encourage you to go out and explore.  Read the bulletins to find out where the risks exist each day Off-piste snow report for 16 to 22 February With current ... Read More


Lessons from the Tignes avalanche accident

We don’t have a full picture from the investigation as yet. But it is possible to identify some lessons that we can learn based on what we do know about the Tignes avalanche accident. This post makes no comment about the decisions and actions of the victims as we do not know anything about their discussions and consideration.  We do know they were fully equipped to go off piste. The official investigation will cover that. This post is to help everyone who […]... Read More


Fatal Avalanche in Tignes
Expert’s thoughts following Tignes avalanche

Following this week’s tragic Tignes avalanche, interesting words from expert Dominique Létang. In French. Dominique Létang, HAT Partner, is Director of L’Anena (French Association for the Study of Snow and Avalanches). Speaking on France Bleu Pays de Savoie, he talks about the Tignes avalanche and this year’s particular off-piste conditions. The avalanche risk of 3 that day (and most of that week) is a risk attributed by Meteo France to roughly one day ... Read More