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.
FREERIDE SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING - WHITE RISK
Minimizing the avalanche risk starts not only on entering the open ski area, but at home!Careful reading of the current avalanche report gives first information: What is today basically possible?
The “Tyrolean Mountain Rescue Emergency APP” offered by the Tyrol section has been developed for emergencies in the alpine area.
With a click on the APP your location (GPS coordinates) is transmitted to the Tyrolean coordination centre in a case of emergency.
At the same time a telephone connection is established. The required emergency rescue teams are alerted and dispatched.
The use of searching devices must be continuously exercised, to be able to use it in an emergency situation.
The ORTOVOX STATION (advanced rescue training) system is a compact and technically mature facility for practising the search of buried victims with avalanche rescue beacon and avalanche probe. It can be used daily free of charge with your own Equipment. Avalanche Transceiver TRAINING How to use avalanche transceivers, shovel and proble can be exercised in cooperation with ORTOVOX at the Gamsgarten mountain station. On request also with mountain and ski guides as listed.
Safety and assessing the risk is of major importance for off-piste skiing and snowboarding. First place of contact for getting information ist he Freeride-Checkpoint at the Eisgrat top station. On the large display board you find route descriptions, weather, snow and avalanche reports, information on slope exposition, avalanche transceiver check etc.
On each trip into the powder snow you have to carry safety equipment (avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel and mobile). You can rent the equipment (helmet and rucksack also) at the Sportshop Eisgrat directly in the mountain station. All who do not know about the dangers in alpine terrain, we recommend entering the unsecured ski area with a certified freeride guide only.
The fascinating beauty of the high mountains also incorporates dangers: crevasses, avalanches, snow storms, sudden incidences of fog and also intense sunlight. Outside of the marked and open slopes you alone are responsible for your own safety! You are venturing into high-alpine, glacial and avalanche-prone terrain. Appropriate equipment and knowledge of the dangers involved is essential! Inform on the current avalanche situation before heading for the back-country.
THE MOST IMPORTANT RULES FOR FREERIDE SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING
BEFORE STARTING A FREERIDE EXCURSION, THE FOLLOWING MUST BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION:
If you are not sufficiently informed on alpine dangers and avalanches, please book a training session with a pro (e.g. guided mountain or ski guide) before entering into the open area on your own.
++ CONDITIONS The danger increases with the intensity of the snowfall and strong winds. This combination causes tricky drifting snow accumulations to form, which can be recognised by blown-off ridges, cornices and wind scour. Rapid and marked warming also leads to an increase in avalanche danger, which can often be the case during the course of the day, especially in spring. Clear alarm signs that indicate an increased danger are fresh avalanches, dull "boom" sounds and cracks in the snowpack.
++ TERRAIN Avalanches are possible from a slope angle of approx. 30°. Basic rule: The steeper a slope, the more dangerous. Typical avalanche slopes are on the shaded side (i.e. exposed on the north side), close to the ridge and filled with drifting snow.
++ PEOPLE The majority of floe avalanches (= classic winter sports avalanche) are triggered by the skiers themselves. So it is primarily up to one's own behaviour whether the risk of triggering an avalanche is increased or reduced!
++ CONDITIONS The danger increases with the intensity of the snowfall and strong winds. This combination causes the formation of tricky drifting snow accumulations, which can be recognized by blown-off ridges, cornices and wind scour. Also, rapid and marked warming leads to an increase in avalanche danger, which can often be the case during the day, especially in spring. Clear alarm signs indicating increased danger are fresh avalanches, muffled "whoosh" sounds, and cracks in the snowpack.
++ SL OPES Avalanches are possible from a slope inclination of approx. 30°. Basic rule: the steeper a slope, the more dangerous. Typical avalanche slopes are on the shaded side (i.e. exposed to the north), close to the ridge and filled with drifting snow.
++ HUMAN The majority of snow slab avalanches (= classic winter sports avalanche) are triggered by the skier himself. Therefore, it is primarily up to the skier's own behavior whether the risk of triggering an avalanche is increased or reduced!
LAWINEN KNOW HOW 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 AVALANCHE REPORT
Current information from the Eissee station, select the southern Ötztal and Stubai Alps: Tyrolean Avalanche Warning Service
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
* 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 terrain: 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