The dangerous side of off-piste skiing

    There is no snow that is worth taking to high risk for, have that as your mantra when you are out on the mountain!

    Keep track of weather reports and resort avalanche scale, never go alone, use transceivers and always have equipment with you to dig out your companion if needed! Every winter there are avalanches in varying degrees depending on weather and snow conditions and every winter there are fatal accidents that perhaps with more knowledge could have been avoided.

    An avalanche occurs when a weak layer of snow can no longer bear the overlying snow and collapse. If this occurs in a steep slope, the overlying snow begin to slide down the slope and an avalanche is a fact.

    To avalanches to occur, it is usually a slope steeper than 25 degrees. It requires snow, layered on different layers, with a weak / loose layer under a strong / stronger layer on top. Besides this, it is also a trigger that can consist of anything that load the weak layer further, eg skiers, snow, drifting snow or hang droves raging.

    "Better safe than sorry"


    Line selection

    When you see the best riders in ski movies release on a steep face and drop some big rocks on the way down, it's no coincidence. Several days earlier, they have checked out the mountain in different angles, both near and far away.They also photographed the entire face and decide after a while the path they intend to take on the road down.

    The hard part is that everything looks so different from the top, but if you have experience and have clear benchmarks to target them, one memorized usually work well. Sometimes you may also need a plan B.

    If you choose an exposed face that has great risks, you need to check the weather long before the run and obviously decide wether you can go or not.

    As you now begin to understand it is very important to do a very careful planning to ride these amazing runs you've seen on film. My recommendation is that you start reading terrain on different slopes much more carefully to become more and more sure of how mountains can be mastered.

    Every day I sit in the lift and fantasize about the new year and new lines that I might one day do. A major advantage is to go with someone more experienced.Especially someone who knows the mountain as their own garden. So out and try new lines, first in your imagination and then hopefully in reality.

    Keep in mind that the mountain is changing almost minute by minute. Read more about Avalanches at Fjällsäkerhetsrådet