QUESTION 01 OF 02 - BE PREPARED > Avalanche Bulletin Interpretation

Interpreting the avalanche bulletin

Every tour plan should include a look at the avalanche bulletin. It provides an overview of the current and forecast avalanche danger, snowpack and weather conditions on the mountain. It is important to take a look at the map and read through the text.

Below is a complete avalanche bulletin from Tyrol’s Avalanche Warning Service. Read it carefully, and think about what you would need to consider if you were to go touring in the conditions stated in the bulletin. Below the report are a number of statements, some of which are irrelevant. Check to see how well you can interpret the bulletin by marking the statements you think are correct.
  • Because I am setting out on my tour very early, the avalanche danger level doesn’t concern me much because it is only supposed to increase from 2 to 3 over the course of the day.
  • Today slopes with gradients over 35 degrees and the specified slope aspects should be avoided because they appear to be especially dangerous locally.
  • Durch die erhöhte Sonneneinstrahlung und den mäßigen Temperaturen um die Null Grad kommt es heute zu starker Durchfeuchtung der Schneedecke.
  • Avalanche danger level 3 is prevailing today, meaning that the avalanche hazard zone encompasses not just my ascent tracks but also the entire slope above and below me.
  • Most avalanche accidents occur at danger level 3. Risk management: Today it is imperative to maintain an appropriate distance to other skiers during the ascent to reduce load; make use of favorable terrain features, and descend one at a time.