Latest News


HAT Report: Reflections on a great season?

Henry's thoughts on the 2008/09 season throughout the Espace Killy.

The question everybody asks us - Is it safe out there?

In the best season for 30 years the snow seemed to fall steadily and regularly. It rarely fell in such large quantity that it created massive instability (except in a few places on the Italian border where a lot more fell).

You might think this made it safer, but the avalanche accident statistics suggest that this year was just as dangerous as previous years. Deaths from accidents were the highest for 3 years with 14 deaths occurring across 17 reported accidents in the Savoie region.

Here is Henry's report to accompany the French Avalanche Accidents figures released on April 24 2009.

You can also download this from HAT's blog post. They also invite you to add your comments to this blog.

You can also read Henry's report and study pictures on a massive avalanche that caught 3 friends of ours in Fornet, Val d'isere back in April of this year. Fortunately no one was badly injured, and everyone made it to safety. We feel past experiences are the best way to learn and prepare yourselves, as best as you can.

So why does this happen?

This is obviously the major question and even more so when conditions were reportedly more stable. We would argue that being safe is as much about how you behave rather than how stable the conditions are. The answer to the question: "Is it safe out there?" is not a simple yes or no.

The answer: "it depends".

It depends quite a lot on you and how you conduct yourself. It depends on three things.


  • Where you go and when?
  • How you go down and up?
  • How well prepared you are?

Sign up and receive tips, advice and reports like this, weekly from Henry's Avalanche Talk. You can also follow HAT weekly reports throughout the season.