In the event of avalanche

Preventing avalanche risk is primarily about knowing which areas could be affected by the phenomena. Avalanches occur almost always in the same places: high mountain areas with rocky mountain soil, between 2,000 and 3,000 meters lacking vegetation cover. It is important to avoid areas at risk when avalanches are expected, which are frequent in early spring when rising temperatures may cause sudden melting of snow masses.

Before the avalanche
• Ask the company operating the facilities about the conditions of the snow and slopes;
• Frequently consult the snow meteorological bulletins that give condensed information on danger of avalanches, using a numeric scale going from 1 to 5;
• Never be on your own: to be able to save yourselves, it is essential for at least one of the group to remain unharmed by the avalanche;
• Keep to the signs, notices and information put up along the ski runs on the conditions of the alpine ski and free descent routes;
• Avoid going across steep slopes with deep snow, especially at the warmest time of the day;
• Avoid going through risky areas such as open slopes, gullies and downwind areas.
• Use the most secure places on the ground, such as rocks and flat stretches, to move about;
• Equip yourself with an avalanche transceiver or beacon (ARVA), with a light probe to identify exactly where a person is buried, and a spade to be able to remove the snow rapidly: in most cases people are buried at a depth of around a metre. Everyone in the group should have this equipment.

During an avalanche
• Remember that with avalanches the snow tends to accumulate at the centre so it may be easier to find an escape route along the edges;
• Try to keep a free space in front of your chest;
• Move arms and legs as if you were swimming to try and reach the edge of the avalanche and to remain on the surface.