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Easy Mountain = Deadly Mountain?

Why do you think it is that most mountains that are considered “easy” prove to be among the most dangerous? Like with avalanches, your mind that can easily trick you into underestimating your circumstances and overvaluing your control, which often ends very badly. Against catastrophes like the one in Nepal, you cannot do much, but in many cases tragedies could be prevented. What goes wrong usually and what can you do?

Although the highest peak of Europe, you consider Mount Elbrus as a relatively accessible and easy 5000-er, right? Yeah, that’s the general opinion. As such, it is a very popular climbing destination not only for Seven Summiters but also for amatuer climbers who want to taste the Caucasus after having done the Alps. More »

Video and Details of Everest Base Camp Avalanche

3,300 people are now confirmed to have died in Nepal after the horrifying earthquake hit on Saturday, April 25th. Here’s the first video showing the immense power of the avalanche that hit Everest BC and the panic of the people in Everest’s Base Camp:

We have a mountain guide on Everest now Zsolt Török – he’s trapped with his team (not clients, but a Romanian expedition) around Camp 1, because the Khumbu-icefall is impassable due to avalanche debris. Here is what else we know…
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Avalanche Danger After Them Rainy Days

March 25th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Mountaineering - Alps, Ski Touring

Not many people head out for a skitrip when it rains. However, even days after rain, the snow can still be soaked as a sponge. Here is a case from a couple years back from Tyrol. Enjoy and learn!

Wet snow avalanche More »

Avalanches & Mind Traps: the Better You Are, the Higher the Danger

February 27th, 2015 | 1 Comment | Posted in Mountain Guides, Ski Touring

Here is a widely cited piece of research on mind traps. Its most shocking conclusion is probably this:

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 15.21.46

Here’s what it means…
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How the World’s Leading Avalanche Professionals Secure Slopes

February 4th, 2015 | No Comments | Posted in Mountaineering - Alps, Ski Touring

One of the best things that has emerged from these avalanche mastery videos is YOUR involvement. If you’ve read the comments, you’ve probably come across some people posting very good articles/videos that articulate or go deeper on all the stuff we’ve been talking about. Here are some really good ones, so you don’t have to read through all the comments…

One is from Julien with a freaky video. It’s about Freeride Worldtour pro skier Julien Lopez, who got caught in a slide during a recent comp in Austria. The video takes you behind the scenes on how mountain rescue sets up an event like this – and despite 20 professionals testing and overseeing the slope, Julien still got swept away.


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Avaluator – is it any good for predicting avalanches?

About 10 years ago, the Avaluator was the thing – you might have come across one, or perhaps even used one. It’s a simple card that helps you evaluate avalanche risk and make the often painful go/no-go decision based on some obvious clues. Here’s what one of these cards look like:

avaluator 2.0 avalanche risk assessment method

Red-yellow-green. But what happens in “grey” areas?

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Video: What happens to an 80 kg person who falls on a via ferrata?

May 30th, 2014 | 2 Comments | Posted in Via Ferrata

Video Lesson: Testing Via Ferrata Mechanisms 

The last post on the via ferrata accident stirred some emotion from quite a few of you. We owe you the learnings of the story and will show you a video of what happens when someone takes a fall on a via ferrata. Here’s the cold hard truth on what happens if they use static lanyards without an energy absorbing mechanism… and what’s the difference if they use a properly set up via ferrata kit?

via ferrata gear test

Via ferrata – one of the best ways to explore mountains IF you have the right equipment and skill

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Via Ferrata Accident – Here’s What a Torn Mammut EAS Looks Like After a Fall

May 26th, 2014 | 4 Comments | Posted in mountaineeing equipment, Via Ferrata

A couple weeks ago, our office had rented out some via ferrata equipment for a group of local folks looking to do a nearby via ferrata. One of the guys took a moderately nasty fall and tore the energy absorbing systmem (EAS) of his Mammut via ferrata set. Thank Goodness, he was unharmed. But his gear was not; here’s what it looked like:

The broken via ferrata set

See how the thing came out?

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Crawling out from the depth!

April 4th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Rants&Raves

The latest climbing video project of Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma has a really snappy title: Into the Light. In this film they are taking on the second largest known cave, on Earth, descending into the cave and trying to climb out. And, of course, they kick butt..

It’s a huge, 120m (394 ft) high dome, that – being a cave – would scare the heck out of most climbers – and probably Stefan and Sharma too. But it’s definitely doable! At least for these two guys..
The older and the more experienced member of the duett is Glowacz. He turns 50 next year, but still he moves like a spider, when he feels the rocks under his hands.
The younger one also moves like an eight-legged creature on rock. Even though he has less experience, Sharma is still considered one of the best sportclimbers in the world. He has collected a long list of awards, but you may know him also for his rather animal-like roars at the crux of his pitches.

One thing is for sure, they are a great team. And to make you believe me, watch this short video – This is the birth of a new climbing record!

Via Ferrata Awesomeness in Italy

February 14th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Via Ferrata

Italy is pure via ferrata awesomeness. We’ve been guiding you guys through the Dolomites several times every year. Some of you have had the experience of the weather going crap around Cortina. In these cases, we jump in the car, drive a little to the West and end up in a mediterranean place, which is completely different from the Dolomites, but maybe just as fun and jaw-dropping. Some even prefer it to the Dolomites. This place is…

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