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ORTOVOX wins the Guides Choice award from the American Alpine Institute

The American Alpine Institute (AAI) has announced the four winners of the 2019 Guides Choice award. Among them is the ORTOVOX SAFETY ACADEMY with its digital learning platforms LAB ROCK and LAB SNOW. The mountain guide, training, and expedition center headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, has now granetd these awards honoring outstanding equipment and training projects for the twentieth year running.

The jury stated: “The SAFETY ACADEMY is Guides Choice award winner because it is a unique educational tool that has elevated the way we teach our avalanche courses. The ORTOVOX range aims to make everyone safer in the mountains. We want to recognize ORTOVOX’s efforts by presenting them with the American Alpine Institute’s Guides Choice award.”


ORTOVOX founded the SAFETY ACADEMY in 2008. The aim of the free and digital learning platform comprising LAB ROCK and LAB SNOW is to impart practical and safety-related knowledge in the areas of ski tours, freeriding, mountaineering, and climbing.

LAB SNOW is a multimedia training initiative that uses tutorials and interactive tools to provide valuable snow safety content free of charge. In addition, ORTOVOX offers avalanche courses, making it one of the largest avalanche training initiatives in the world. Together with its partner mountaineering schools, the SAFETY ACADEMY boasts well over 2,500 participants each year.

Another product that has emerged from the SAFETY ACADEMY is the SAFETY ACADEMY MOUNTAIN 3D – a tool for teaching avalanche courses.

In cooperation with the Verband Deutscher Berg- und Skiführer e.V. (VDBS – German Mountain and Ski Guide Association), Petzl, professional mountain guides, athletes, and experts, ORTOVOX launched the SAFETY ACADEMY LAB ROCK in 2018, expanding its high-quality training platform to include alpine climbing. LAB ROCK provides informative video tutorials and training modules spread across four chapters to make alpine climbing safer. In the fourth chapter, ORTOVOX has specialized in alpine first aid.

What is the AAI?

The American Alpine Institute is a mountain guide, training, and expedition center headquartered in Bellingham, Washington that operates in six states and 16 countries. It offers teaching programs and professional training at all levels on the rock face and in ice and snow. As one of the few US mountain guide agencies, they are qualified to conduct and certify the avalanche courses of the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education.

The AAI’s test program filters out the best products

The AAI has now been granting the Guides Choice award for over 20 years. One of its core groups tests the products in demanding conditions and then nominates the favorites. Equipment manufacturers use the test program and resulting feedback to improve the efficacy of their products. Information gained from the testing program also helps the AAI’s officials in selecting the world’s best equipment for its programs.



To the Guides Choice award