Safety is the top priority alongside your mountain experience. The basic principles are adherence to and observance of important rules of conduct and instructions as well as accurate tour planning and adequate equipment.
Ski tours are endurance sports. The valuable stress stimuli for heart, circulation and muscles presuppose health and an honest self-assessment. Avoid time pressure and choose the pace so that nobody in your group gets out of breath. Watch out for reserves of strength for the descent.
Maps, guide literature, Internet and experts provide information about the route, length, altitude difference and current conditions. The weather report deserves special attention, as cold, wind and poor visibility greatly increase the risk of accidents. Also plan alternative routes and inform you about national mountain rescue emergency numbers (European emergency number 112).
Possible alpine dangers are:
Sudden fall in the weather, snowfall, wind, avalanches, fog, ice, solar radiation (warming during the day can increase the danger of avalanches)
Different weather conditions change the terrain daily. For this reason, the assessment of a safe inspection lies solely in the personal responsibility and discretion of each individual!
Adapt your equipment to the winter conditions and the concrete tour destination. Standard emergency equipment includes avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel, first aid kit, bivouac bag and mobile phone. An airbag system increases the chances of survival. Check your equipment before the tour and carry a repair kit with you.
Inform yourself in detail about the avalanche situation before your tour: Pay special attention to information about the danger level (1-5), the danger points (Where is it dangerous today?) and the danger patterns (What is the main danger today?).
When recognising the danger of avalanches, people have narrow limits. Therefore, base your decisions on strategic methods of risk assessment (reduction methods) and learn to recognize danger signs in the terrain. Avoid danger points and turn around in case of doubt.
Drinks, energy and pauses are necessary to maintain performance and concentration. Hot, isotonic drinks are ideal thirst quenchers and warmers. Orient yourself continuously ("I know where I am") and critically assess existing traces.
Spacing serves to relieve the snow cover and to limit damage. Relief distances of 10 m for ascents on steep slopes and increase comfort during hairpin bends. When descending steep slopes, always keep clearances of at least 30 m and drive on very steep slopes individually.
Falls during the descent are the most frequent cause of accidents on ski tours. For the snow cover they mean a large additional load. Good skiing technique and a speed adapted to the ability reduce the risk. A ski helmet protects against head injuries. Attention: Danger of falling on a frozen snow cover and in rocky terrain!
Small groups (up to 6 people) increase safety. Communication with other winter sports enthusiasts and mutual consideration prevent dangerous situations. Stay together in the group. Inform familiar people about destination, route and return. Attention loners: Even small incidents can lead to serious emergencies.
The mountains offer a valuable space for moving in unique wilderness. Enjoy this freedom! Respect wildlife, respect protected areas and do not enter reforested areas. Use carpool or public transport to get there.
- Respect protected areas and sanctuaries for plants and animals!
- Avoid twilight (feeding game and grazing times) - plan your tour best between 10am and 4pm.
- Avoid game feeding and catchment areas on a large scale (300 m) (observe restricted areas!)
- Observe animals only from a great distance, never follow them.
- Do not enter reforestations and young forests.
- Keep calm and do not shout.
Please use the walking bag and throw it into the nearest rubbish bin to avoid soiling the pastures and nature. Help to keep nature clean. To avoid problems with other winter sports enthusiasts such as cross-country skiers or snowshoe hikers - please keep dogs on a leash!
Nature is a precious good - so please keep the mountains clean and don't leave any waste behind! Waste is still here - even if you are long gone!
Please note that the information provided on mountain safety is exclusively recommendations of the Wilder Kaiser Tourism Association. All information is subject to change without notice.