The WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF has won one of the 2020 Albert Mountain Awards.
Every two years, the King Albert I Memorial Foundation recognises individuals or institutions who have made an outstanding contribution to mountains around the world. Today, 25 September 2020, sees the awards ceremony for this year's winners, with one of three Albert Mountain Awards going to the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) in Davos. SLF Head Jürg Schweizer said: "We are delighted to be recognised in this way. It is an honour to be able to receive this award in Bern today in the company of renowned cultural figures, mountaineers and mountain institutions." The SLF has won this award in recognition of its concerted commitment to avalanche prevention for the mountaineering community and the public at large. The SLF has set high standards and carved out an international reputation with its research, avalanche-warning service and practical guidelines for dealing with avalanche danger.
The other 2020 award winners are L'Alpe, a magazine based in Grenoble (France), and Basel musician, vocal acrobat and echo hunter Christian Zehnder. For the first time, the King Albert I Memorial Foundation is holding the awards ceremony at the Swiss Alpine Museum in Bern. This will be preceded by a public panel discussion (in German) featuring SLF avalanche-warning and avalanche-protection staff and field representatives, who will talk about what has been achieved in avalanche research and about the future.
The King Albert I Memorial Foundation's Albert Mountain Awards have been issued every two years since 1994 to organisations or individuals for services to mountains around the world, in fields as varied as science, art, accident prevention, environmental protection and education, among others, as well as social projects. These awards commemorate Belgium's King Albert I (1875–1934), himself an accomplished mountaineer and climber.
To date, 57 individuals and institutions have been honoured in this way, among them geographers and geologists, outstanding climbers and mountaineers, writers and editors of mountain(eering)-related publications, photographers, artists, and individuals and institutions who have worked on mountain protection. All in their own way have contributed to preserving mountains as beautiful and safe places, whether it be as a habitat for plants and animals, a place to live and work or a recreational space for the public.