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Behaviour tips when entering black ice

Echte weisse Riesen: Die Gletscher im Engadin

Ice sports
Behaviour tips when entering black ice

Black ice is beautiful, but also deceptive.

Black ice is beautiful, but also deceptive. The communities urge caution and emphasize: entering the lakes in the Engadin is at your own risk.

Those who would like to experience the fascinating natural spectacle black ice in all its facets, should observe the following principles:

  • Never walk alone on the ice.  
  • Avoid fractures and milky areas as well as influent, flow and drainage points.
  • Determine the thickness of the ice cover by means of cracks in the ice or by probing with ice ax.
  • Enter the lakes only in good light conditions.

 What to do if it comes to an ice break? React correctly:

  • Keep calm.
  • Spread your arms and try to scramble up onto the ice - back in the direction you came from.
  • If the ice is not wearing, break it with your elbows until you reach a stable point.
  • As soon as you are back on the ice, you first crawl away from the break-in point lying on your stomach.
  • Helpers should approach the casualty carefully on their tummy with absolute attention to their own safety and try to reach ski poles, rescue bars, lifebuoy or a rope (posts with rescue equipment are partly on the shore).
  • Passers-by should immediately call the emergency services: Tel. 117.

Using the Emergency Kit PDF
(only in German and Italian)

Videa 1: Rescue with throwbag, line and ice screw

Video 2: Self-rescue with "Ice Spikes" (only in German)