FREERIDE SAFETY: THE TERMS WORTH KNOWING

Just like you learn how to ski on the slopes, you learn freeride skiing. Beginning with the different terms you need to know when you want to be well prepared, understand the mountain and its dangers.
Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
AVALANCHE PREVENTION AND WEATHER FORECAST
Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
THE B.E.R.A

It is the "Bulletin d’Estimation du Risque d’Avalanches", the avalanche risk evaluation bulletin. It's provided for by the National Weather Forecast Service "Meteo France" everyday from the 15th of December to the 30th of April, made by snow specialists (they study the charateristics of the snow, the snow cover and the avalanches) for each mountain massif. So the bulletin is tailored for each ski resort according to the mountain massif they are located. The risk scale goes from 1 to 5 (the lowest to the highest) and is the same throughout Europe.

Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
THE P.I.D.A

This is the the "Plan d’Intervention de Déclenchement des Avalanches", the avalanche blasting intervention plan. It is made according to the informations of the B.E.R.A, and is decided locally by the mayor of each ski resort, with the advice of the local rescue and snow patrol services. It's purpose is to release avalanches in exposed areas, and secure the ski slopes, the access roads to the resorts and major roads that go on mountain passes.

Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
AVALANCHE DANGER SCALE

In the mountain, and more specifically off piste, weather conditions are paramount. That is why it is so important to check the weather forecast and the avalanche danger probability before every freeride trip.
The wind, the snow falls and the temperature variations are many factors that come into consideration for an avalanche to release.

The risks, classified on a danger scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest), are as follows:

Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
Risk 1 : LOW

The snow cover is stable. Some slides can occur, but a release will only happen with a severe overload on very steep slopes.

Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
Risk 2 : MODERATE

The snow cover is stable, except on some steep slopes. Releases due to severe overloads may occur on some steep slopes.

Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
Risk 3 : MARKED

The snow cover is moderatly to weakly stable on many steep slopes. Low overloads may be enough to release avalanches, and some spontaneous releases are possible.

Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
Risk 4 : HIGH

The snow cover is not stable on the majority of slopes. Numerous spontaneous middle to big avalanche releases are to be foreseen.

Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
Risk 5 : EXTREME

Even on very slow slopes, big avalanches are foreseen.

Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
THE MOUTAIN: ITS DANGERS, ITS RISKS
Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
CREVASSES

Vertical opening in the ground of the moutain, the crevasse is more dangerous in the winter as it can be hidden under the snow. You will find crevasses particularly on glaciers, but also hidden by the vegetation in the summer. The risk is to fall down in it and needing to be winched out of it. The fall in itself can be dangerous and cause injuries, sometimes quite serious.

Les conseils sécurité ski freeride de wedze
ICY ZONES

The packed snow can turn into ice because of the weather conditions (wind, freezing temperatures) and this ice can be very dangerous, when skiing on it or falling on it. It might be hard to stop you fall on such ice, so be veryaware of your environment: try to stay away from cilffs and not to close to trees. A pair of crampons and an ice axe can be very helpful in an icy situation.

Get the right equipment:

banner sacs a dos

           BACKPACK

banner pack securite

      SAFETY PACK

You now have all the information you need ot start learning about the weather in the mountain, how to find the right information and understand them. Don't hesitate to share your experience or ask questions. And find out more on freeride safety training courses with La Chamoniarde.
HAUT DE PAGE