Safety is of paramount importance.
The club has a long history of promoting safety in the mountains through the information sources provided to it members, providing grants to aspiring ski tourers and offering a competitive transceiver hire scheme to the ski mountaineering community. (Recent changes in the insurance landscape means the club is now only able to offer transceivers to members of The Alpine Ski Club at no charge).
The safety pages on the website, which reflect current best practice for safety while ski mountaineering, are derived from the excellent research carried out by various organisations and national bodies throughout the world (see links).
Safety and risk assessment starts in the planning of a tour: with creating a suitable team which has the necessary skills, training and experience; researching the terrain the terrain and history of this season’s snow pack; devising plans appropriate for the team and with suitable safe routes and escape options, taking note of objective dangers and crux points.
When you arrive in the mountains, the risk assessment evolves to incorporate local knowledge: seeking advice from guides and other reputable sources; analysing recent weather patterns to estimate their impact on the snow pack; and confirming that the team members are all in agreement that the plan is still sound.
Then as the tour unfolds, the team gets to see and sample the conditions first-hand. Risk management is a continuous process throughout the whole journey, and the team needs to keep re-assessing: are the conditions changing? are there any unforeseen problems? is the team ok and up to the demands of the tour? do all members agree with the group decisions? is the planned route still viable? are the individual slopes safe to travel over?
Note: If you come across and information on these Safety pages which is not up-to-date or is misleading, please contact the ASC web manager.
Last updated on 10th August 2020