Off-piste skiing in Meribel. Marmalade’s approach to staying safe (Part 3 our of 3)
Off-piste skiing Meribel – avalanche awareness and looking after our clients needs is something we take very seriously at Marmalade Ski School.
Parts 1 and 2 have taken us to the foot of the mountain and made us think about our plans and potential routes for the day.
The final episode is how we behave on the hill.
Most avalanches occur on slopes 30° to 45° gradient. (Although can start from 25°). As a rough guide mst blue runs are between 20° and 30°.
Be cautious and aware of convex slopes, gullies and terrain traps.
Be aware of the avalanche forecast and the potential hazardous aspects. Know your orientation on the mountain. Take care of leeward slopes after the wind has had effect. South facing slopes on warm days or time of day.
Smooth surfaces underneath might be more likely to slide – grass, scree, sand, smooth rock. A base of trees, bushes, rocky ground could hold better
Even though you’ve done everything right then it could just happen to you. If you’re in the avalanche pull your air bag if you have one otherwise keep moving and try to keep to the surface. Then if you are witness to an avalanche keep your cool and start your rescue…..
Know how to use a transceiver. Practise, practise and practise some more. The transceiver will get you as close as possible then you need to probe well and dig efficiently. Get some training!