The risks are classified in 5 categories:

In case of heavy snowfall, rain or sudden changes in temperature you have to be very vigilant. Avalanches can be triggered spontaneously.

Some advice to avoid the risks:

  • Keep yourself informed about the weather conditions and dangerous areas. The level of risk is the one given by the bulletins of estimation of the avalanche risk of Météo-Franceor by the avalanche risk pictograms and flags installed in the resorts.

  • Take a DVA (avalanche victim detector) or an ARVA (avalanche victim locator): a transceiver that makes it easier to find a person buried under an avalanche), a shovela shovel, a probe and a phone whatever the activity (off-piste skiing, hiking, etc.)

  • Do not go alone

  • Tell people close to you the route and time of return

  • Go through a risk area one by one, then take shelter in a safe area

  • When hiking, leave a good distance between each member of the group: this avoids overloading on the snow patches

  • Use the least steep slopes

  • Keep an eye on the other members of the group

  • Never stop below the tracks of others: the risk of avalanche is increased tenfold

  • Move smoothly, avoid sharp turns and, if possible, falls.

What to do in case of avalanche?

  • Try to escape sideways

  • Never try to descend faster than the avalanche

  • Protect your airway by placing your hands in front of your nose and mouth

  • Try to stay afloat by swimming hard

  • Get rid of your backpack if it is heavy, keep it if it is light, it can protect you from cold and shocks;

  • Grab obstacles (trees, rocks, etc.) to avoid being swept away.

What to do after the avalanche?

  • Create space around you to clear your airways and avoid filling your lungs with snow

  • Dig, if possible, upwards towards the light

  • Try to reach out with your arms or a stick to break through the surface of the snow

  • Don't get out of breath by shouting, to try to make yourself heard, make short, high-pitched sounds (ideally a whistle)

  • Never fall asleep.

Emergency call: 112

If you witness an avalanche you must :

  • Take cover by leaving the path of the avalanche

  • Keep an eye on the point of disappearance of the victims

  • Check that a second avalanche does not start

  • Once the avalanche is over, immediately alert the emergency services by dialling 112

  • Locate the objects lost by the victims without moving them, this can help the rescue team in their search

  • Use all your senses to have a maximum of clues to find the victims (noise, visual clues, movement, smell...)

  • Use a DVA or an ARVA to locate victims more easily by switching to "search" mode

  • Probe the snow.