Are you planning to head off piste this winter? We can't say it enough, but if you are you need to get the correct training in avalanche safety. Read all the books or online articles you like (we have an excellent piece here) but at the end of the day you need proper training from experienced professionals.

Luckily, the good people at Ortovox are touring the UK this autumn to bring you both avalanche awareness lectures and transceiver search & rescue tuition in acossiation with Ellis Brigham. "When and where?" we hear you ask:


29th October – Essentials Talk, Ellis Brigham Manchester Castlefield (19:00 to 20:30)

30th October – Advanced Talk, Ellis Brigham Manchester Castlefield (19:00 to 20:30)

4th November – Essentials Talk, Ellis Brigham Covent Garden (20:00 to 21:30)

5th November – Advanced Talk, Ellis Brigham Covent Garden (20:00 to 21:30)

6th November – Essentials Talk, The Kings Arms (next to Ellis Brigham) Bristol (19:30 to 21:00)

10th November – Advanced Talk, The Kings Arms (next to Ellis Brigham) Bristol (19:30 to 21:00)

12th November – Essentials Talk, Ellis Brigham London St Paul’s (19:30 to 21:00)

19th November – Essentials Talk, Ellis Brigham Cambridge (19:30 to 21:00

20th November – Advanced Talk, Ellis Brigham Cambridge (19:30 to 21:00)


Wimbledon Windmill, Wimbledon Common – 11.00am

11th October

25th October

8th November

29th November

Hamble-Le-Rice, Southampton – 11.00am

22nd November

Sandbanks Beach Café, Poole – 11.00am

6th October

The talks will cost £12 per ticket, the transceiver training sessions £55 (available from here) - the most worthwhile money you'll spend all winter. We can't stress this enough, BOOK!


Here's what Ortovox have to say about the talks:

‘90% of avalanche accidents are triggered by the victim’, says Henry Schniewind of Henry’s Avalanche Talks, a highly regarded expert in snow safety who is delivering all of the presentations on the tour. ‘So as skiers, since we are responsible for triggering the slide, it’s then possible and essential to figure out how to avoid this risk. Our essentials talks provide a deep and comprehensive view on how to manage these risks and still have fun at the same time’, he says.

The talks last for around one and a half hours and help off-piste skiers understand how to prevent being caught up in an avalanche (and avoid other hazards), how to make the right decisions when skiing off-piste and how to deal with a crisis should the worst happen. Henry helps answer the fundamental questions, ‘is it safe out there?’ He delivers a decision making and risk management formula that will help you understand that riding off-piste doesn’t have to be any more dangerous than the activities you engage with in your normal everyday life. The advanced talks assume you have attended the essentials talk and are about moving your knowledge on further. Various theories are discussed including, avalanche triggers and helping skiers understand exactly why and where avalanches happen.

Beeper training sessions are an outdoor activity event where participants learn and practice the location of victims buried underneath the snow using the latest transceiver technology that’s worn by anyone venturing off-piste in a European ski resort or backcountry skiing in North America. Each of these sessions is scheduled to run for 2.5 to 3 hours and is designed to ensure anyone attending can retrieve a buried transceiver within 5 minutes. The training introduces people to all aspects of off-piste safety equipment and preparation and in particular, how to use a transceiver. The training includes the location of eight to ten buried victims in a circuit of pre-set avalanche accident sites, mimicking a real-life avalanche rescue situation.

Henry Schniewind is a well-known expert on snow and avalanche safety and founder of Henry’s

Avalanche Talk, an off-piste skiing guide who runs Henry’s Off-Piste 3 Day Courses in Val d’Isère and Tignes, France, during the winter ski season.

The Ski Club of Great Britain is a membership based ski club and supports the Ortovox Avalanche Awareness Tour

Ellis Brigham is a national retailer of mountain and outdoor clothing and equipment with 27 stores throughout the UK.

Ortovox is a leading manufacturer of avalanche safety equipment and snowsports apparel.