Since ORTOVOX was founded, the protection of mountaineers and the mountains has been a guiding principal for the German mountain brand. The Safety Academy initially launched back in 2008, and the Safety Academy Lab Snow was established in 2013. The new digital knowledge platform provides high-quality information about avalanches and has been completely reworked in cooperation with the German Mountain and Ski Guide Association, Verband Deutscher Berg- und Skiführer (VDBS), along with safety and first aid experts. Safety Academy Lab Snow is available today at www.ortovox.com/en/safety-academy-lab-snow/.
The new platform encompasses 17 video tutorials split into four chapters and provides a comprehensive overview of avalanche knowledge, tour planning and first aid for backcountry snowsports. Numerous interactive educational modules enable extensive avalanche knowledge to be shared, whether beginner or advanced backcountry user. Existing knowledge can be reviewed and refreshed, while absolute beginners will find an easy-to-understand introduction to this challenging topic. The content is arranged in an emotive, focused way: clear, attractively animated and easy to navigate, even on a smartphone.
The people behind Safety Academy Lab Snow are safety experts Chris Semmel and Walter Würtl, avalanche researcher Ben Reuter, and first aid expert Dani Hornsteiner. As a mountain guide, long-time member of the VDBS and The German Alpine Club (DAV), Chris Semmel is one of the most sought-after safety experts in mountain sports. Walter Würtl is a mountain and ski guide, alpine expert and editor of “bergundsteigen” magazine. Ben Reuter works as a mountain and ski guide and an avalanche researcher for Meteo France, where he coordinates the creation of the avalanche bulletins. Dani Hornsteiner leads alpine first aid courses, and has a wealth of alpine knowledge thanks to her time as an active mountaineer and DAV guide for ski tours and high alpine tours.
“The Ortovox Safety Academy Lab Snow covers a wide range of avalanche knowledge and absolutely moves with the times. Many backcountry users, especially beginners, are young and have grown up in a completely digital world. It’s only logical to offer avalanche knowledge in a perfectly designed online format. Protection in the mountains is something that we all care about and it’s been an honor working with ORTOVOX on this platform,” explains Chris Semmel, professional mountain guide and expert for mountain, climbing and avalanche accidents.
Avalanche knowledge with professional expertise
The first Lab Snow chapter provides an overview of the different types of avalanche. It explains the factors that contribute to the formation of an avalanche, the particulars of the various types of avalanche and the 3×3 filter method.
Chapter two looks at the basics of backcountry tour planning and necessary equipment. It explains the content of an avalanche bulletin, the five danger levels and the various avalanche problems. It also introduces the DCMR method developed by the VDBS. Finally, this chapter provides a concise overview of the required equipment.
The third chapter concerns responsible risk management in the mountains. How is an avalanche transceiver check done? What kind of warning signs are there? How should avalanche problems be assessed when in the mountains? How can the DCMR method be used on a tour? The chapter also provides insight into what examining a snowpack can reveal.
The last chapter tackles all the aspects of avalanche rescue — from companion rescue and emergency call, avalanche transceiver search, probing and shoveling, through to first aid and professional rescue services.
The updated Safety Academy Lab Snow platform is available today at www.ortovox.com/en/safety-academy-lab-snow/.