DNT arranges Avalanche Smartness Day

Avalanche Smartness Mountain ski hike top tourEnjoying a ski trip into the mountains. Photo: Melvin Trav / Unsplash

DNT arranges Avalanche Smartness Day across Norway

The Norwegian Tourist Federation (DNT) is arranging an Avalanche Smartness Day after an increased risk of avalanche accidents in later years. This happens at 12 locations in Norway.

The aim of the Avalanche Smartness Day is to provide all lovers of hiking with the required knowledge for safe winter experiences.

“Winter Top Tours is a popular sport. The equipment is getting better. That opens up for more people to try it. But ventures into the winter mountains also places high demands on the participants.” Secretary-General of DNT, Dag Terje Klarp Solvang, explains.

The idea of a separate Avalanche Smartness Day was born in Tromsø. The background for it is a desire to reach a larger audience.

”Avalanche Smartness Day is not just about downhill skiing in alpine terrain, but about making sound evaluations and choices both before and during the trip,” Initiator, and member of the mountain sports group of Troms Turlag, Tim Dassler informs.

More venture into the mountains

”There has been an explosive increase in people visiting the mountains in recent years. There are very many more who hike in steep terrain than before,” according to Duty officer in the Norwegian Avalanche Warning, Solveig Kosberg.

This is accompanied by several serious avalanche accidents in recent years, including the avalanche in the Tamok Valley in January, which cost four persons their lives.

71 persons have lost their lives in avalanche accidents in Norway, since 2008, according to the overview of varsom.no. The worst season was the winter 2010–2011 when 13 persons perished.

”When it is winter, there will be varying degrees of avalanche hazard. With an increasing number of people in steep terrain, the danger will increase accordingly,” Kosberg states. She emphasises that the number of fatal accidents has not increased in line with the number of persons who are hiking in the mountains. This after the Avalanche warning was introduced seven years ago.

An introduction to avalanche rescue and first aid

The Avalanche Smartness Day has already taken place in Tromsø, Jølster, Eikedalen, Bodø, Hornindal, Ørsta, Meråker, Årdal, Sirdal and Rana. Budor and Molde are next in line.

On the Avalanche Smartness Day, the participants will experience a demonstration of rescue operations in avalanches from Norwegian Rescue Dogs and Norwegian People’s Aid. Furthermore a ”beeper” competition and intensive courses in performing first aid in the mountains. There is an avalanche search and digging competition for the youngest.

”Winter hikes are suitable for everybody, and it is, therefore, both important and correct to establish good hiking habits from a young age. Bring the children along for learning and conversing about safe hiking and avalanches. One cannot dismiss that the youngest has a good influence on the adults when planning for a trip,” Secretary-General Solvang concludes.

© Den Norske Turistforening / #Norway Today