Once the fresh snow driving, this is the dream of many skiers and snowboarders. But away from the crowded machine-graded slopes, you have to expect a risk: the higher avalanche danger. In the Austrian Lech am Arlberg four skiers ventured on Saturday to the so-called ski routes – these are marked, but usually not groomed slopes. They wanted to despite all the warnings, the currently locked exit “Long train” beat, one of the steepest runs in the Alps. They were overwhelmed by an avalanche; three of them could only be recovered dead. The fourth is still missing.

The first question is: How reckless the four Germans were? After all, she had not dared to without precautions into the adventure. They carried emergency equipment: tracking device for Spilled, avalanche shovels, probes for the search in the snow, and backpacks with Airbags in an avalanche, the skiers are not buried too deep.

four skiers were so-called freeriders. This search, instead of rolled slopes, around curves, prefer to be on ungroomed routes the way into the valley. Usually freeriders were informed well about the dangers, says Anika Fruehauf of the University of Innsbruck. The sports scientist is investigating their behavior in comparison to the normal on-piste skiers. Often Freerider informed in advance about the routes and possible avalanche dangers.

The “Long train” in Lech was locked on the Day of the accident, the avalanche danger, the warning level of three (Maximum of five) had been spent. The four skiers will be exposed to a “significant risk” and risk a penalty: Who is on locked routes, the threatening of the withdrawal of the ski pass and a fine.

Frühauf suspected that the Victim had an avalanche danger, finally, they carried out the emergency equipment: “the danger of The descent, but had underestimated you.” They longed for the risk? It is known that freeriders are statistically more at risk to be injured or to die than normal on-piste skiers. In addition, the researcher found out that most of the skiers felt at the Moment of departure, for sure, as you have everything under control. In the case of free riders in the case, in particular, that they kept this feeling in everyday life. Whether you were stuck in an exam or a lecture held: you feel otherwise challenges. You could also say: you have to trust a higher self. And you are motivated, perhaps, a dangerous slope down to race. Whether you are looking for the risk, however, does not say. Fruehauf argues that the desire to risk constituted by no means the only Motivation: “for many is just more fun to drive on freshly fallen snow.”

This article dates back to the TIME no 04/2019. Here you can read the entire issue.

The next question is: will Feel with a probe, and Airbag top equipped driver so sure that he is taking may be too high a risk? Also this assumption is not empirically proven. Has been described the connection between the equipment and risk-taking, especially in the case of cyclists: In the past few years, a number of articles that claimed a cyclist with a helmet cause rash appeared. The almost always cited study is of course based on only 80 participants. A similar investigation with skiers could detect no difference between helmet and Non – Helmet wearers.

Controlled demolitions against the danger of avalanches In the Val d’anniviers, in the South of Switzerland were triggered several avalanches of targeted explosives. In many Parts of the country with the highest avalanche is currently a warning level. © Photo: REUTERS TV

the fact is, that avalanches remain in spite of all equipment is highly dangerous. What increases the technology massive, the probability to be after an accident, found. Unlike the Airbag in the car, skiers set off the avalanche airbag by yourself. The filled air bag increases in volume, thus, in principle the same thing happens as in a Cereal box. In the sort by Shaking and Shaking the smaller pieces to the bottom and larger top. In an avalanche, the Airbag should lead to that the skier must land on top and assistants will not be so dig deep, so that the victims get more of the air.

The Airbag, the risk of death Spilled reduced from 22 to 13 percent. Inflated Airbags to prevent half of the deaths. It is, according to Frühauf, but also on the environment, the size and texture of an avalanche: Heavy snow pushes the people towards the bottom. Whether the Lawinenart has prevented the Survival of the German skiers, is unclear. They had managed, however, to activate your Airbag.

is found, The chance of Survival depends, in the end, Essentially, when a victim. At the latest after half an hour she sinks rapidly. This also means that for the fourth, on Tuesday still not found the skiers, there is little hope.

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