Safety – the nuts and bolds in powder
“This is going to be amazing. For weeks we have been looking forward to this day. It was snowing and we are sitting in the brand new Natrun gondola. The sun is shining from a perfect sky and we just want to get started!”
If you want to enjoy your freeride day to the full, you should always be on the safe side. Freeriding is an outdoor sport and when playing with nature, we always try to hold all the trumps in our hands, otherwise the game can quickly become serious.
In the wintry nature of the mountains lurk a whole series of challenges. In addition to alpine dangers, low temperatures and often difficult orientation for the untrained, avalanches are the ones that make life difficult for us.
Of course they can only do that if we give them the chance. Anyone who has a handle on every situation, has the best safety equipment, can handle it and assess the danger correctly, does not give an avalanche the chance to spoil the day.
Avalanche transceiver*, probe, shovel
Those who can handle it and practice the exercises in an emergency, practice and practice again, is well prepared in case of cases. But what does that mean exactly?
Estimate avalanche danger
Information is trumps, only those who inform themselves in advance about the prevailing avalanche danger, can assess the conditions on the ground correctly. On the way there is usually no time to get involved in the avalanche warning report.
Mistakes are there to be done. This is NOT true in the case of avalanches. Rough mistakes in the behavior or the risk assessment should simply not be made – a freeride day in the mountains must be flawless.
Searching must be practiced
Practice creates masters. What applies to the Vienna Philharmonic also applies to ambitious freeriders. Practice the use of the safety equipment on the mountain, stop the time you need to search and rescue and become a true avalanche search experts.
A tipp from the expert:
“First of all good news, even though avalanches can become a real problem, who knows what to do, usually has good cards. The handling of the avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel and airbag backpack must be practiced. In various courses and trainings, I like to show you how to rely on your skills in an emergency. Rule # 1: avoids avalanches, even if you’ve trained how to deal with the emergency!”
Markus Hirnböck, owner of the alpine school Maria Alm & Local Expert