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Snow Science School - Apply now

A field-based training course for snow scientists on state-of-the-arte snow measurement techniques will take place at Col du Lautaret, France from 11 to 17 February 2018. Applications are now possible.


Rock fall in high alpine regions - Background to their occurrence

The destabilisation of rock faces is the result of a long process that may last many thousands of years. A special 'dossier' article summarises the factors involved and the role of permafrost and global warming.


Conference Polar2018 - Call for Abstracts

SLF and WSL are organizing POLAR2018, which will take place in Davos, Switzerland from 15 - 26 June 2018. The goal of the conference is to bring together research from both poles as well as from high elevation areas. Abstracts can be submitted now. Further information


Winter 2016/17 - Annual report online

The annual snow and avalanche report 2016/17 (october 2016 - may 2017) is available online in German. It offers comprehensive information on weather, snowpack, avalanche danger and avalanche activity during the last winter (in German or French). More


Avalanche accidents in summer - Even small snowslides can have fatal consequences

It may be summer, but avalanches still pose a very real threat in some parts of the Swiss Alps. To prevent accidents, a few rules should therefore be followed when hiking or climbing in the mountains.


Avalanche Forecasters Consultation - Coordination within Europe

The avalanche warning services operating in Europe have undertaken to develop common standards for their activities. Their General Assembly recently adopted a resolution to revise the designations of avalanche sizes.


Settling of snow - How does snow metamorphism influence settling?

Why do different types of snow settle at different rates? Lab experiments show that settling depends on the snow structure.


Landslides - Biodiversity offers protection

Landslides repeatedly cause major damage in Switzerland. A report by the WSL produced within the framework of the National Research Programme "Sustainable Use of Soil as a Resource" (NRP 68) describes how soil stability can be improved long-term with relatively little input.


Rock fall in the mountains - Online form

In the context of our research we are collecting information on rock fall in permafrost areas. If you observe rock fall in the mountains, we would be grateful for your feedback using our online form.


Severe weather 2016 - Significant damage on the north side of the Alps

Severe weather events in Switzerland gave rise to property damage of about CHF 100 million in 2016. This was revealed by the annual analysis of the national storm damage database maintained by WSL.


WSL-Magazine - Nr. 1/17 has been published

The latest issue of the WSL magazine DIAGONAL has been published. It focuses on the key theme "Forest Reserves: Where nature has priority".


"Weekly report" - Monthly during summer

New snow and dry avalanches in high alpine regions, snow melt and wet avalanches at high altitudes. This is how the weekly report describes the snow and avalanche situation of the second half of May.


Avalanche bulletin - End of bulletin season

Until next autumn, avalanche bulletins are published by the SLF only in the event of heavy snowfall. You can be notified that an avalanche bulletin has been published via SMS or RSS feed.


Mountain forests of the Alps - Natural disturbances on the rise

An international research team have produced a synopsis of long-term change in the forests of the Alps. Their work shows that rising timber stock in mountain forests has increased the incidence of natural disturbances.


Avalanche Bulletin - In text form until further notice

Until further notice the avalanche forecasting service publishes the avalanche bulletin in text form. The information is available on the website and the App White Risk. An RSS Feed of the avalanche bulletin can be subscribed for updates.


Review of winter 2016/2017 - Short winter marked by little snowfall

Winter 2016/17 was characterised by warm temperatures and extremely little snowfall. Many places had continuous snow cover only for a very brief period. Seven people were killed in avalanches – significantly fewer than average over a 20-year period.


Annual report 2016 - Available online as PDF

The WSL annual report contains last year's highlights and relates financial information, business development and Corporate Governance.


Ice avalanches in Tibet - Chinese researcher visits SLF

A Chinese researcher is currently working at the SLF for a month. Using simulation software developed by SLF, he is learning how to improve evaluations of ice avalanche risks in the Tibetan Plateau.


Rain on snow - How much water runs off?

A perennial topic at this time of year is the risk of flooding caused by melting snow, in particular if rain falls on the snowpack as well.


UNESCO Cultural Heritage - Dealing with avalanche danger

Today the Swiss government is submitting an application for the process of dealing with avalanche danger to be inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of Humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. The SLF has played an instrumental role in preparing the application dossier.


Antarctic circumnavigation - End of the expedition

The Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) reached Cape Town on Sunday, 19 March, completing its three-­month voyage around the great white continent. An EPFL and SLF researcher is leading one of the research projects.


Antarctic research - First independent expedition

Two SLF researchers recently brought home initial results from the SLF's first independent expedition to the Antarctic.


Full-scale avalanche experiment - Largest avalanche in 11 years

A successful full-scale avalanche experiment took place today at the SLF's Vallée de la Sionne avalanche test site in Valais (Arbaz district).


Ice crystals - Orientation in the snowpack

How are crystals oriented in the snowpack? Answers are provided by studies undertaken in the Antarctic snowpack.


Practice meets Science - International course

26 participants from 11 countries take part in the first international snow and avalanche course for safety officers, avalanche forecasters and consulting engineers.


Winter tourims - Less snow, shorter ski season

A new study of the SLF shows bare Alpine slopes could be a much more common sight in the future.


Mountain permafrost - Continued warming trend

Measurements carried out by SLF and its partners in the Swiss permafrost monitoring network (PERMOS) show: soil temperatures at 10 – 20 metres depth were higher than ever last year at many locations. In the long run, a steady warming of the permafrost is expected.


Artificial snowmaking - How much water gets lost?

The SLF is examining how much of the water ejected by snow lances is not transformed into snow on the ground.


Avalanche release - New model

A recently developed model describes the principal factors contributing to the release of a slab avalanche.


Natural hazards - Fatalities have been falling since 1946

Since 1946, events associated with natural hazards have claimed more than 1,000 human lives. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) have now compiled a database of these fatalities to analyse the development of casualty figures over time.


Arctic and Climate Change - Urgent Meeting in Davos

Today, leading scientists, government representatives and business leaders gather at the WSL- Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos, with Al Gore and Christiana Figueres, for urgent meeting on Arctic change.


Seen an avalanche? - Submit your observations

Please report your observations on the snow and avalanche situation. Your information is very interesting for the avalanche warning service. The most convenient way to file a report is via the SLF web page or the mobile app White Risk.


New test site - Snow measurements in Davos Laret

Investigations being conducted at the new test site in Laret are seeking to establish how much water is contained in snow, and how the climate and the snow are changing together.


Avalanche bulletins - Twice a day

With immediate effect the SLF is once again publishing the avalanche bulletin and interactive danger map twice a day, at 8 am and 5 pm. These products are available both on the SLF website and with the White Risk app.