Arva Snow Safety Program
REASSESS THE SITUATION AND MAKE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE DAY’S OBJECTIVE BASED ON THE MEMBERS OF YOUR GROUP
Reassess the group
Check everyone’s gear before starting. How many people are there in our group? Have any additional people joined your group? Before leaving, go over the day’s plan one more time and repeat the dos and don’ts for the tour.
Check that everyone has all the right gear and that it works properly.
Does everyone have the right avalanche safety gear?
Double check that all transceivers are functioning properly (conduct a Group Check). The goal is to make sure that everyone’s transceiver is working in both transmit and search modes.
Know the avalanche danger for the day for the chosen peak or mountain range and identify those areas most exposed to avalanche danger. The avalanche advisory in France (aka “BERA”), published by the country’s national weather service (aka “Météo France”) provides key information for estimating the avalanche risk for a given range or sub-range. Click here for the advisory. Ski resorts in France (and most of the European Alps) also post the advisory for the day on information signs throughout the ski area.
Reassess the snowpack and weather conditions and, if necessary, adjust the level of risk (higher or lower) accordingly. Carefully observe the surrounding environment (close by and in the distance), looking for clues and red flags. Increased temperatures, rain, fresh snow, avalanches, wind, and a loaded snowpack are just a few of the clues to take into consideration.
Line of travel
Follow the planned route or make adjustments if needed based on the day’s conditions and the overall mood of the group. Follow the planned route using map tools, and sticking to low-angle slopes, knolls, or ridgelines.