Superb report .... !
I keep each years reports on my coffee table. Reading them once a week or so, throughout the season, keeps me very focused. Bit of a mute point for visitors, but it works for me!
I wondered if you had noticed any references to ABS Bags, good or bad, in official reports?
It’s very interesting to note the fatalities use of beacons in this years statistics and a specific reference to the quality of a shovel. It reinforces the urgency of locating victims in that ‘golden’ 3-5 minutes following an avalanche, to have any possible chance of survival and in my view, is a clear indication of the necessity of constant training in ‘Location and Digging techniques’.
Excellent report, thank you.
Amazingly great report, David. Thanks a lot for doing all the analysis—and the careful writing that hits the key points but also tells the stories.
You’re right, last winter was very unusual—I still remember skiing all these big spring tours in February and early March.
I think another factor which will drive the long-term trend to more avalanche accidents on backcountry ski tours is YouTube videos . . .
I remember a video posted last year of skiing a great backcountry slope, and it looked great (and easy) in the video, but I knew what the overall conditions on that date, and I thought: I hope I get to ski that line, but on that day they were taking on more risk than I’m willing to accept.
But seeing it right there on video does make me tend to think, “If they can do it, I can do it”—which might be true (in excellent snow conditions).
But I need to guard against a parallel thought: “If they can get away with the extra avalanche risk, I can get away with it”.
Reading your report helps me guard.
Should be compulsory reading for all visitors to French resorts. How about submitting a copy to all the resort tourist offices, with the suggestion that they print them off and leave for passers-by to pick up, along with the blurbs distributed by ‘Restaurant La Fondue’, etc? We would soon see where their priorities lie!!