Skiing holidays are a great way to experience the outdoors and enjoy all that France offers. However, such holidays are not without risks. One such during ski holidays France is that of avalanches. While severe, life threatening avalanches are thankfully rare; you need to be aware of how to avoid being caught in one and enjoy a safe holiday.
Avalanches are a dangerous natural, and occasionally human made, occurrence that can bring an abrupt end to your holiday skiing in France. However, the risks of getting caught in an avalanche can be cut by taking appropriate safety precautions and understanding the risks. The first and most important thing to note is that you are at very little risk of being caught in an avalanche while skiing on piste. This is because all pistes, regardless of their difficulty, are made safe by the French piste rescue services. Where you are at real risk is when skiing off piste. In Europe, it is completely up to you whether you ski on or off piste during your ski holidays France. Off piste is becoming increasingly popular, particularly for those with either fat skis, or who prefer snowboarding. As with anything else in life, it is up to you to decide whether the thrills off piste are worth the increased risk during your group ski holidays France. Even so, you can still reduce this risk by taking simple safety precautions, such as finding out more about the mountain, the weather conditions and terrain that you are likely to experience. It is also worth remembering that while the risk of avalanches is at its highest in the Spring, most avalanche accidents occur in the colder months from December to February.
The reason for this difference between incidents and accidents has a lot to do with the skiers themselves. During the spring, there are what are known as point release avalanches, caused by the warming of the snow on the south facing slopes by the sun. The snow at this point is still heavy and wet, so despite the greater number of avalanches there are few, if any, people on the mountain. Accidents from these types of avalanches tend to occur during those of exceptional size when they reach inhabited areas, such as a ski chalet France based on the mountain. The avalanches that happen during the colder months are not generally natural in occurrence and are known as slab avalanches. These are triggered by skiers and snowboarders on the snow causing well bonded layers of snow to break free. The risk of an avalanche on an individual mountain is marked using a flag system – yellow being the lowest risk and black the highest. By avoiding high risk areas that have unstable snow, you can stay safer during luxury ski holidays France. While out skiing, it is also worth remembering that slopes with an incline of between 30 and 40 degrees (equivalent to a red or black run) are the most likely to experience the right conditions for an avalanche; the windward side of the mountain is also an area of greater risk because of the risk of wind loading.
While avalanches are a real risk, they should not stop you from enjoying your ski holidays France. By being prepared, knowing your terrain and following safety advice you can keep yourself and your fellow mountain users safe. One final thing to remember is to not all crowd into the same small area off-piste. Moving in small groups and going through dangerous areas one at a time will help with rescue, should it be needed, which is unlikely if you take responsibility while on the mountain.