Terrain traps



In November 2013 we gave a talk at the Alpinforum in Innsbruck. The aim was not to come up with something new, but to shed light on an old story: Munter’s factor “terrain”. It is only one factor out of three, besides the “human factor” and the “avalanche conditions”, but in certain situations it seems crucial not to be ignored – in particular when planning your trip and making your way through the back country.
A couple of years ago Canadian avalanche experts had brought up the AVALUATOR tool to evaluate avalanche danger based on the present avanlache conditions and the terrain features characteristic to a certain route. With the AVALUATOR terrain features are explicitly considered in the risk eveluation process. Above slope angle, tree density, slope shape also the term “terrain traps” appears. “Terrain traps” comprise all sorts of terrain features that might cause injury or deep burial and bear a serious risk for us. From our point of view a very valuable tool for both touring and freeriding.

Check out the outline of the talk on terrain traps and take a look at the latest version of the AVALUATOR !

Soon there will be an article in bergundsteigen summing up on terrain characteristics, their role in the risk evaluation process and when to give them more weight in the decision process.


on track

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