52 posts
Gut für die Lawine, schlecht für uns: Surface Hoar (Oberflächenreif)

Neuer Wind


in den Segeln der angewandten Lawinenkunde! Zu Winterbeginn hatten wir es einmal zusammengefasst, wie sich das Risikomanagement mit den neuen Entwicklungen aus der Lawinenforschung wandelt. Nun gibt es einen podcast – sozusagen einen refresher oder ein update für alle, die im November zur Alpinmesse Zeit noch klettern waren.

Viel Spass beim podcast hören oder beim Ausprobieren des neuen Winterjournals.

Aufgepasst! Wer meint, dass das Schnee von gestern sei, der mag nochmal genauer hinschau’n oder hören ;-)

after the dump

Visiting the Carpathians


“Cabin crew, prepare for landing” … I wake up. Snow covered hills below me. Some houses spread in between the fog. A new chapter opens. It’s says: Mountain Guide Training in Eastern Europe. It’s my first visit. And it’s the first training of its kind – after the final rehearsal two years ago.

To take part in the training students from several countries get together. They’re all strong alpinists, some of them are already established national guides. During the afternoon large duffles pile up at the Paltinu hut. For the most part I don’t understand what people say. But faces tell me, they’re happy to arrive and they know each other. The mixed group has mastered the entry test, now they take their first winter training. So, the new guy, that’s me. But soon, the ice is broken and we ski, study and chat.

Thanks for teaching me the roots of the sastrugi, the difference between muschi and schnitzel, and how strong apple juice can be.

Keep up the vibes!

Go to Student Material
Go to Winter Journal





You may think it’s silly to leave France for rock climbing. Is Spain really warmer? Whatever – let’s go to Siurana, the well-known stronghold of elite climbers. But there is also plenty of moderate climbing around the charming village that sits below the orange cliffs. We enjoyed some last on warm rock before the cold season and got to do some “projects”. Mr “Alzheimer-onsight” – mentally prepared and not drunk this time – pulled up a nasty roof and could hide the pump he got from the roof in the dihedral that followed – thanks to his leopard dress. “Miss like crimps” got in the moves real quick after a two week working break – we know she’s not a climber, maybe rather a science nerd. “Herr Schneider” was around, too, but no one ever caught a shot of the creature. He’s said to have fiddled a lot with a weird open crack, we suppose some American chronical disease he has got. He eventually earned a green leave for the easiest route in the grade .


Winter Journal


A decision making and reporting tool for practicioners

– Look up and refresh fundamentals
– Plan trips based on the forecast and your own observations
– Take your decisions based on the latest know-how

In case you lost your pen or filled all worksheets already

Download trip planning tool: Update 2020
Download decision making tool for crux slopes: Update 2020

Go to German edition



Chamonix Alpine weeks


Les Courtes, l’Aiguille du Chardonnet, Les Dorées, l’Aiguille du Plan: these names ring a bell?
Granite spires around Mont Blanc rise like needles to the sky. They turn heads of climbers’ who walk the streets of Chamonix. Alpinists point upwards like Balmat once did. In 1786 he showed Saussure his route to the summit of Mont Blanc as the monument in town tells us. Together with Paccard he had climbed Mont Blanc for the first time and before Saussure who had studied glaciers and atmospheric conditions in the area, but hadn’t reached the summit, yet. Captivated by the view of the white mountain from his house at the Lake Léman Saussure returned to complete his project of climbing Mont Blanc.
In the calm wake around his busy majesty we could close some of our projects. Thanks for tieing in guys!


let's ski the backside

Steep at Lofoten


The other Norway adventure. Well, we all heard about Lofoten. But let’s do it different style.

This adventure takes some tough guys with wild dreams iconic peaks in the Arctic. Good, they don’t fear the bushwack. They’re ready for multiple skinning. They got the legs for the backside runs – and they don’t mind to take the long way home.

In the end it all wasn’t that bad, and we found time for great evening cookouts. Thanks chefs!

Here we make memories.


Simplon unite


Boarders and Skiers unite to enjoy fun freeride days and Italian cuisine. As usual work comes before pleasure and so we work our way up towards Capanna Leone. A steep finish challenges our skinning skills just before the mountain pass where we descend towards the hut for an italo-dutch apéro on the porch. Only the next day we get to ride all the meters we climbed the day before – some fresh snow in the morning and some slush in the afternoon. We arrive in the small town of Simplon Dorf and wait for the connection towards Italy at the historic square. A great dinner at Locanda Diei in San Domenico and good night’s rest allow to recover. In the bright morning sun we climb in an ancient chair lift and leave behind the village. Our loop around Pizzo Moro offers views towards Monte Leone, where we started the adventure, but also extends to where we’re headed: Alpe Devero. The day’s second climb we finish with crampons – great job guys! A gap between sheer cliffs leads down into a slush bowl. We’re crusing wide open fields into marvellous trees scattering low sunlight. Finally we feel some life between the ancient stone huts. ‘Voilà!’ – we fuel up with charcoil burgers and beers for the last climb. A winding road climbs between pines. Around the last bend we spot a faint light within a cluster of stone huts. What happened there remains secret.


love the finish

Gallatin Swing – a farewell to the Bozeman cragging


“Let’s head out bros” we gotta finish the “fall project” before winter,
but, are we “ready for the check”?

This one is the “organic rock line”,
“All in” – time to bring on your skill set!

“6b+ (6b+ obligatoire)”
The “Gallatin Swing” is all “no bacon – no flavor”

So “bring some pro”, but no worries …
Ben bolted, it is “a padded line”!

Split the “191 ft” at a halfway stance and enjoy
“Euro-sytle” sweet little pitches.

Feel free to “climb to the end of rope”
Feel free to “leave the rope at home”
But “have fun”

Follow Strom Castle Road from the camping with the “no overnight sign” for 3 min.
Sticks, cairns, slings and signs and a little “mounatain feel” will take to the base.
A fixed line comfort the last feet through “Bozeman style choss”.

Route (no fun here):
Pitch 1: 6b+, 28m, 6 bolts, little cracked buttress (.4″), dihedral, steep face.
Pitch 2; 6b+, 30m, 4 bolts, traverse, short buttress, crack (doubles .4″ – .75″), steep face.

Descent (keep it serious):
Anchors equipped for rappel (2x25m)

Should I go or should I ....

GKMR – Risikobeurteilung 2.0


Gefahren, Konsequenzen, Massnahmen & Risiko

Grundtenor: „Baah, das ist kompliziert.“ Wir wissen, draussen muss es schnell gehen. Die wichtigsten Punkte. Aber nichts vergessen. Drinnen auch. G->K->M<->R bringt’s auf den Punkt. Das schicke ist, GKMR bietet ein Gedankengerüst. Und mit dem kann man das Risiko beurteilen. Drinnen oder draussen.  Das Gerüst begleitet uns also bis vor den Einzelhang. Die folgende Herangehensweise steht auf den Grundlagen, sonst nichts. Und bergundsteigen hat’s gedruckt.

Die Seiten des Winter Journal zum ausfüllen mit Kurzanleitung zum download:

Tourenplanung  Version 2018   Version 2020
(Für’s grobe: Gefahren erkennen, Konsequenzen abschätzen, Risiko bewerten)

Einzelhangbeurteilung  Version 2018   Version 2020
(Die Feinheiten: Gefahren erkennen, Konsequenzen abschätzen, Risiko bewerten)


IMG_0186 (4)_LI

Snow instability – what does that really mean?


Hard to say what it is?
No kidding!
However, in recent years researchers found some answeres to that question.

We put it together,it’s not that big of a deal. You can get an answer, if you choose one particular pit on the hill to look at. Nevertheless, it’s getting more complicated if you want to know if a slope is stable. Then all the variations across the slope come into play. That’s a different story, we tried to address in “sinking in white chaos“.

Briefly, a snowpack is called unstable if  a skier can break the weak layer and the initial crack starts spreading spontaneously. In other words, if the slope comes down – no seriously, this is excatly what would happen next if the slope is inclined more than 30 degrees.


Schwierige Frage?
Definitiv nicht so einfach.
Die letzten Jahre brachten uns ein paar Antworten.

Lest selbst, so kompliziert ist es nicht, so lange man einen Ort im Gelände betrachtet. Kurzum, mit “Schneedeckenstabilität” beschreiben wir die generelle Schichtung der Schndeecke und ihre Neigung zur Bruchbildung.Geht’s um einen Hang spricht man eher von der Auslösewahrscheinlichkeit. Wie wahrscheinlich ist es, dass man ihn auslösen kann? Die Auslösewahrscheinlichkeit hängt natürlich von der Schneedeckenstabilität ab, aber eben auch von der Belastung die zur Auslösung nötig ist und von der räumlichen Variabilität der Schneedecke.