Avalanche Hazard Scale
1 (LOW) Triggering is generally possible but only from high additional load in isolated areas of extremely steep terrain. Only small-sized sluffs and natural avalanches are expected. Snow layers are generally stable.
2 (MODERATE) Avalanches may be triggered in case of truly heavy loads, especially on a few explicitly indicated, steep slopes. Large spontaneous avalanches are not expected. In general, the snowpack is well bonded except on some very steep slopes. Choose your route carefully, avoid the indicated slopes and exposed sections.
3 (CONSIDERABLE) Triggering is very probable even from low additional loads, particularly on the indicated steep slopes. On some steeper slopes, medium or even fairly large spontaneous avalanches may occur. On most steepslopes the snow layer is only moderately or weakly stable. Expertavalanche knowledge is required. You must avoid the indicated steepslopes and highly exposed sections.
4 (HIGH) Avalanches are likely to be triggered on many of the indicated steepslopes even if only light loads are applied. In some places, numerous medium-sized and also large-sized natural avalanches are expected.The snowpack is poorly bonded on most steep slopes. Choose your route according to these criteria, select only moderately steep terrain by avoiding the avalanche runout zones. Very expert avalanche knowledge is required.
5 (EXTREMELY HIGH) Numerous huge or very large-sized natural avalanches are expected also in moderately steep terrain. Safe skiing is not possible anymore, not even in the marked ski area. The snowpack is poorly bonded and largely unstable. Don‘t go ski mountaineering at all!
Always check the current avalanche danger level before setting out on a ski tour! A daily updated avalanche report is available (in the winter months) on the official website of Tirol's avalanche warning service www.lawine.tirol.gv.at
Tips and hints
SKI MOUNTAINEERING RULES
- The right tour planning and schedule: start the tour early enough and return before dark. In spring you should be back at the hut for lunch (avalanche danger).
- Short breaks in-between are necessary to maintain concentration and stamina
- Keep dogs always on a leash
- Don't throw away things and don't feed wild animals
- Pay attention to danger signs and avoid danger spots
- Groups should ascend one behind the other with a minimum distance of 10 meters in order to avoid heavy loads on the snow layer. While skiing downhill a distance of about 30 meters is strongly recommended.
- The most common cause of accidents: falling on downhill stretches. The right skiing technique and moderate speed according to the abilities and the snow conditions reduce this risk considerably.
- If you enjoy activities amid nature always respect the local guidelines when you set out on a ski tour (e.g. wildlife preserves, hunting enclosures, reforestation areas, information boards, etc.).
- Cross only approved routes and respect protected wildlife areas
- Don't enter feeding areas and avoid noise
- Observe wild animals only from a distance and avoid getting in close contact with animals whenever possible
Ötztal Tourismus assumes no liability for the tours listed and recommends taking along a mountain guide.
Before starting a tour you should announce in the valley the destination and the time of the expected return. It is strongly recommended to bring an avalanche transceiver.
By roadThe drive to the ÖTZTAL
Arriving by car leads holidaymakers over the Inntal to the valley entrance and further along the Ötztal. In addition to the motorway can also be used on rural roads. With the route planner, your journey can be quickly and easily determined. To the route planner: https://www.google.at/maps
In the end of the village of Gries you will find a parking space. (chargeable)
Book recommendation by the author
EquipmentRecommended ski mountaineering equipment:
The "standard ski mountaineering equipment" is: touring skis with touring bindings, telescopic poles, climbing skins, ski crampons, digital avalanche transceiver, avalanche shovel, avalanche probe, first aid kit and mobile phone. A ski helmet can prevent severe head injuries.
A "complete glacier equipment set" contains: sit harness, two prusik loops of different lengths and ascenders, two HMS carabiners, ice pick, climbing irons, bivouac bag, airbag system and rope.
Pack your rucksack carefully and don't forget extra clothes for the descent, sun protection/cream, cold protection, enough food and drink. If you stay overnight at a mountain hut take toiletry articles and a hut sleeping bag with you.
Easy: easy, short to moderate long tours with climbs that do not exceed 25 ° or only for a short time.
Medium: Moderate, moderately long to long tours with climbs that do not exceed 35 ° or only for a short time.
Difficult: Difficult, long to very long tours with climbs that reach 40 ° or more, and climbing passages up to the II degree of difficulty (UIAA).