SKI-TOURING SAFETY – WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY
Ortovox Safety Days
What’s important to consider before you head out on your first ski tour through open terrain? And what equipment should you always have with you? At the Ortovox Safety Day, mountain guide Wolfgang gave our participants important tips and insights about the essentials for a ski tour and the right action to take in an emergency.
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Last weekend, four lucky winners had the chance to explore the mountain world of Pinzgau with a mountain guide, courtesy of Ortovox. Despite a weather forecast that was not overly optimistic, the motivated group of four lads met up with mountain guide Wolfgang, together with dog Lani, early Sunday morning in Zell am See, setting off together in the direction of Rauriser Tal. In Hundsdorf Unterland, they pulled on their touring gear, clamped on their skis and, equipped with the very latest avalanche safety equipment and avalanche rucksacks from Ortovox, made their way towards the Rosskopf. During the obligatory avalanche-transponder check, Wolfgang explained the special features of the equipment and important things to be aware of during a ski tour on this warm, still-sunny Sunday.
After the initial 45 minutes or so, things got more serious at the Flatscheralm. There, it was time to pull out the shovel, probe and transponders. Using all of that gear correctly doesn’t come automatically. It’s something you have to learn. From the technical functionality of the gear itself, to actually conducting a search for a buried individual. They played out all scenarios, practicing the right things to do if worst came to worst. As they continued the ascent, they discussed other important variables affecting avalanche risk, including the incline of the mountainside, solar radiation and vegetation. By the time they finally reached the summit cross on top of the 2063 meters-high Rosskopf, the sun was unfortunately hidden behind gray clouds, though that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits in the slightest. The downhill stage took them across all imaginable types of snow, including Harsch, Sulz as well as powder, with appropriate challenges for everyone. Also confronted by a surprise search for a hidden “victim”, the group mastered the challenge with flying colors.
Upon their return to the valley, the participants couldn’t have been happier. Despite being exhausted after such a long day, they felt they were now well-prepared and well-equipped for future ski tours away from the pistes. Our thanks go out to Wolfgang & Ortovox for this fun, informative day in Rauriser Tal.
You can find our Ortovox products right here. For information about Bründl Sports avalanche safety courses and other programs, please visit our events page.