Henry's Avalanche Talks

Ski-Areas > Northern Alps > Savoie (73) > Tarentaise > Val d'Isère > Off Piste > Henry's Avalanche Talk

On Tuesdays and Thursdays Henry and Andreas run avalanche awareness courses in Dick's Tea Bar for the English speaking residents and visitors to Val d'Isère. Timed to coincide with the happy hour at Dick's, the talks kick off at 6pm. Dick's provides excellent audio-visual facilities and the location attracts a younger audience of freeriders and boarders. Perhaps the people most in need of the experience the two organizers and their guest speakers have to offer. The Tuesday sessions give an introduction to safe skiing, avalanche avoidance and search and rescue. There are also practice sessions during the week with avalanche transceivers. The ESF over in Tignes organises similar exercises. Chris Soulliac of Alpine Experience had suggested that I catch the Thursday talk were there was a guest speaker and a more in depth discussion. I'd arranged to meet with Didier Laroche before the talk. Didier is a French ski instructor and a partner in the Ski-Lesson ski school located in the Eskador shop in downtown Val. He is also an excellent English speaker.

Henry Schniewind is a North American avalanche expert who has spent many years in Val d'Isère and his co-presenter, Andreas Björklund, is an instructor originally with Snow Fun but now with Alpine Experience. Originally from Sweden he has now acquired a vague Scottish lilt. They've put together a film and slide show and emphasise the problems you are likely to see in the Espace Killy ski area. This evening a young skier was invited to recall his traumatic encounter with an avalanche close to the Machet chair lift. It was an area he'd skied with a guide and had believed safe when he set out with two friends. On the slope his buddies were caught by an avalanche while he managed to ski out, following a 45 degree angle away from the slide. When the snow came to rest one of the friends was gone, buried under meters of rock hard snow. Without avalanche transceivers it had taken the rescuers, who had arrived quickly on the scene, over 45 minutes to find his friend. Too late. It was extremely brave to recount this story in front of a large audience and the age of the speaker probably touched a chord with the younger people present.

Season Schedule

Full schedule of Henry's talks can be found here:- http://www.henrysavalanchetalk.com/avalanche_talks.html< < Alpine Experience | Val d'Isère | Travel >>