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Avalanches throughout the Year

17 Oct 2015

Avalanche Rescue - Probing Lines

During the past years, there have been a number of large scale avalanche accidents that have occurred in high mountain areas during the summer season. In many cases
these accidents were deadly for the victims.

The ICAR Commission for Terrestrial Rescue advises you to consider the following:

- Avalanche accidents can be deadly during the summer season. Mountain users should
also include the danger of avalanches into their risk management and route planning during all seasons including summer. Important factors to consider include:

  • precipitation (snow or rain)

  • wind

  • aspect

  • elevation

  • temperature

- If the danger of avalanches exist, appropriate emergency equipment should be carried regardless of the season. The best chance of survival if someone is caught in an avalanche is by companion rescue, regardless of the season.

- Alpine weather services should include in their forecast a specific reference to the risk of avalanche. If possible, it can be helpful to also activate avalanche warning services during those special situations. even in summer months.

- It can be generally advantageous to carry devices that improve the detection of an avalanche victim (for example avalanche tranceivers, Recco reflectors, cellphones etc) throughout the year. Reduced detection times improves victim rescue outcomes and minimise the exposure of rescuers to the associated hazards.

With good route planning, careful assessment and management of the hazards and conditions, supported by appropriate emergency equipment, mountain users can help mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of avlanches what ever the season.