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Rules of conduct for snowshoe hikers who venture off the marked trails

Basic Equiment

Rules of conduct for snowshoe hikers who venture off the marked trails

The marked routes are monitored and secured. If there is a danger of avalanches, the routes and paths are closed off accordingly.

If you still want to go off the marked routes, you must take the following basic equipment with you:

  • Shovel, avalanche probe, and avalanche transceiver are part of the basic equipment and are mandatory. It is important to familiarize yourself with the basic equipment before your first tour.

  • Know how to assemble the probe and use it in case of emergency, how to use the shovel most efficiently, and how the avalanche transceiver works and how to use it.

  • A cell phone or satellite phone provides a connection to civilization and rescue services. And someone should be informed ahead of time about your planned route and the timing of your outing.

  • orientation aid such as a GPS and a map

  • Enough drinks, something small to eat, and a first aid kit.

A tour off the marked trail should be carefully planned and take into account the following points:

What to do when an avalanche occurs? React correctly.

Buried person:

  • If possible, escape to the side of the danger zone
  • Get rid of poles and snowshoes to minimize the risk of injury
  • Use swimming movements to keep on the surface
  • Close your mouth and put your arms in front of your face to create a hollow space, if possible, so that you can breathe when the avalanche stops.

Observers or accompanying persons:

  • Keep calm
  • Observers should remember the place where the buried person disappeared and, if possible, mark the area
  • Ideally, you should always travel as a group so you will be able to divide the tasks- one searches and another alerts
  • Start the search with the avalanche transceiver as soon as possible. First follow the strongest signal, then narrow the radius more and more, probe, and then start digging. Expose the airways as quickly as possible and stay at the accident site until the rescue teams arrive. After an avalanche, every second counts. The rescue is a race against time which is why good preparation is very important.
  • There is a good chance of survival in the first 15 minutes, but after 15 minutes, this decreases rapidly. It is therefore essential to always tour with a companion. The actions of the companions are of special importance because they are there and able to act before rescuers arrive.

Preparation is everything! If you carefully plan your tour, take into account the above-mentioned factors, and familiarize yourself with the basic equipment, you can prevent a tragedy. Enjoy the snowy slopes, but do not forget the possible dangers.