Offer valid from 6 May 2017 to 18 June 2017
You leave the secured ski area when riding on the Powder Department Runs! The runs are NOT prepared, NOT secured from avalanches (and other alpine dangers) and are NOT checked. The Powder Department Runs are – since they are open ski area - not declared open or closed.
You act exclusively at your own responsibility and are outside of the area of liability of the lift operators, which offer only the open, prepared pistes and ski routes and assume no liability whatsoever.
Freeride Runs should only be entered with a certified mountain and ski guide.
The avalanche risk is determined by the interplay of conditions, terrain and people.
The danger increases with the intensity of the snowfall and the wind. Delicate snow drifts can emerge in conditions that are marked by wind-swept crests, snow cornices and blow-ups. A rapid and marked increase in the temperature also increases the danger of avlanches. This often happens in the course of a spring day. Clear warning signs that indicate a higher risk are fresh snowslides, a muffled “whoom” sound and cracks in the snow pack.
Avalanches are possible at slope angles of around 30° or more. Basic rule: the steeper the slope gradient, the more dangerous it is. Typical avalanche terrain is shaded (north-facing), near the ridge and drift snow covered.
The majority of slab avalanches (=classic winter sport avalanches) are triggered by the skiers themselves. So it’s your own behaviour that increases or decreases the risk of avalanches!
The likelihood of an avalanche being triggered depends on the slope gradient and risk level.The lower the risk level, the steeper the slopes you ski on can be and the other way round: the higher the risk level, the less inclined the slopes selected should be. Risk assessment requires experience and training! The right know-how is taught in SAAC Camps or by certified mountain and ski guides.
Every winter morning at 7:30 a.m. the Tyrolean Avalanche Warning Service gives an assessment of the current avalanche danger based on the five-point scale used in all of Europe. For the Stubai Glacier you should pay close attention to the southern Ötztal and the Stubai Alps region. It is important to no just superficially check the warning level, but also to read the detailed information attentively.
Current information from the EISSEE Station.
ASSES AVALANCHE RISK BY CONSIDERING THE PRESENT DANGER WARNING AND THE SLOPE GRADIENT
Slope gradients above 30° are coloured in the map or can be measured on the terrain. The steepest section must be considered (20x20m). If you take both factors you can assess the risk with this chart:
Explanations to the European Avalanche Danger Scale
Snowpack Stability: The snowpack is generally well bonded and stable. Avalanche Probability: Triggering is possible only with high additional loads** on a few very steep extreme slopes. Only a few small natural avalanches (sluffs) possible. Effects on Traffic Routes / Recommendations: No danger Effects for Persons in the Free Ski Area / Recommendations: Generally safe conditions.
Snowpack Stability: The snowpack is moderately well bonded on some steep slopes, otherwise generally well bonded. Avalanche Probability: Triggering is possible with high additional loads**, particularly on the steep slopes indicated in the bulletin. Large natural avalanches not likely. Effects on Traffic Routes / Recommendations: Low risk of spontaneous avalanches. Effects on Persons in the Free Ski Area / Recommendation: Mostly favourable conditions. Careful when selecting the routes, especially in steep areas of the given gradient.
Snowpack Stability: The snowpack is moderately to weakly bonded on many steep slopes*. Avalanche Probability: Triggering is possible, sometimes even with low additional loads**. The bulletin may indicate many slopes which are particularly affected. In certain conditions, medium and occasionally large sized natural avalanches may occur. Effects on Traffic Routes / Recommendations: Some danger for exposed sections. Safety precautions are recommended in some sections. Effects for Persons in the Free Ski Area / Recommendations: Partly adverse conditions. Experience in assessing the avalanche risk required. Avoid steep slopes of the given gradient if possible.
Snowpack Stability: The snowpack is weakly bonded in most places. Avalanche Probability: Triggering is probable even with low additional loads on many steep slopes. In some conditions, frequent medium or large sized natural avalanches are likely. Effects for Traffic Routes / Recommendations: Danger for exposed sections. Safety precautions have to be taken there. Effects for Persons in the Free Ski Area / Recommendations: Adverse conditions. Plenty of experience for assessing avalanche risk required. Limit your stay to moderately steep terrain / consider the tongues of avalanches.
Snowpack Stability: The snowpack is generally weakly bonded and largely unstable. Avalanche Probability: Numerous large natural avalanches are likely, even on moderately steep terrain. Effects on Traffic Routes / Recommendations: Acute danger. Extensive safety precautions. Effects for Persons in the Free Ski Areas / Recommendations: Adverse conditions. It is recommended to abstain from entering the free ski areas.
* Described in more detail in the avalanche report (e.g. altitude, exposure, terrain)
** Additional load:
- high: e.g. two or more skiers/snowboarder etc. without relief distnace; piste machines; avalanche blasts
- low: e.g. individual snow athlete, snowshoe hiker
++ spontaneous: without the added risk of humans
++ exposure: direction, the slope is facing
++ exposed: especially dangerous
++ moderatly steep terrain: with a gradient of less than 30°
++ steep slopes: steeper than 30°
++ extremely steep terrain: especially dangerous because of their inclination (more than 40°), terrain shape, closeness to a ridge and surface
DOWNLOAD THE EUROPEAN AVALANCHE DANGER SCALE IN PDF