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Pre-announcement "Practice meets science"

International Advanced Training Course on "Snow and Avalanches" 2019

11 - 15 February 2019, Davos, Switzerland

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The course aims at providing science and expertise based education with a mixture of lectures and hands-on activities. It is designed as an advanced level training intended for people with basic knowledge and experience in the field of snow and avalanches. You will improve your observational skills in the field and your analytical capabilities in data interpretation and will be able to integrate new techniques and methods into your daily work. Furthermore, the international setting allows for a unique experience exchange among practitioners with various backgrounds.

Target audience

Anyone working in the snow and avalanche business can participate. However, since it is an advanced course, basic knowledge of snow and avalanche danger assessment and management is required. The course is intended for:

  • avalanche forecasters
  • avalanche specialists and consultants
  • avalanche instructors
  • avalanche hazard managers for infrastructures, avalanche control services
  • representatives of institutions, private services and associations
Davos, Switzerland (Hotel Sunstar)
WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF
Marion Hofmänner, or Stephan Harvey,
Registration will open soon

Course structure

A general part of the course focuses on current snow and avalanche knowledge and covers the following topics:

  • physical and mechanical properties of snow
  • avalanche formation and dynamics
  • observation and measurement standards
  • stability evaluation and hazard assessment
  • risk management strategies
  • RAMMS introductory Workshop (optional)

The specified part of the course consists of two separate modules, which focus on the following topics:

Module 1: Snow stability and avalanche forecasting

  • - Operational avalanche forecasting
  • - Novel measurement and observation methods
  • - Risk assessment in backcountry terrain
  • - In-depth process understanding of avalanche formation

Module 2: Avalanche safety and control

  • - Permanent and temporary mitigation measures
  • - Hazard assessment for infrastructure (safety concepts)
  • - Hazard mapping, avalanche simulations
  • - Organisation of local avalanche control service

Course elements

  • - Presentations in the lecture halls
  • - Practical application in tutorials and in the field (2 field days)
  • - Interpretation and application of results