LONDON, January 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Avalanches in the Alps have caused seven fatalities so far this winter, including three schoolchildren. But Ongosa provider of specialist ski and snowboard instructors and guides, suggests more can be done to stop the death toll from reaching last year's record-breaking numbers.
Considering the current conditions, professionals in the snow-sports industry are worried there are more to come. Unbelievably, 90% of avalanches are triggered by the victim themselves or someone else in their party. But this could be good news: it means we are in control…
So what can be done? Ongosa argues that information is the root of the solution: either to venture off-piste with an informed mountain guide, or equipping yourself with the relevant avalanche knowledge, through lessons with an instructor.
Trends for more adventurous travel are tempting people away from cruising the controlled pistes and rapid developments in technology and equipment are also making off-piste more accessible than ever. Ski holidays are becoming less associated with indulgence and cheese fondue, and more so with the growing health industry: people want to get fitter not fatter on their trip. However, the pursuit of adrenaline is unfortunately increasing faster than the appeal of hiring a specialist guide.
People are reluctant to use a professional - it costs money and experienced skiers often feel it undermines their own knowledge. Or what could be more concerning, is how the current ski and board holiday culture doesn't effectively encourage safe practice. Many holiday makers, fuelled on Red-Bull-style extreme videos, ignore or just don't understand the risk they put themselves and others into.
So if the 'human factor' is the significant influencer in an avalanche, then it's obvious that the more educated the group leader is, the safer the situation will become. But this is so often overlooked; consequently, Ongosa's mission to make first-rate mountain guides as accessible as possible, will hopefully be a valuable contribution to the industry.
- Launched in December 2015
- Specialises in ski and snowboard specialist guides and instructors.
- Cover over 30 resorts in some of the most popular European Winter destinations: 65 bookable professionals online with a further 350 through telephone bookings.
- Ongosa.com/explore features self-guided on and off-piste route cards as well as unique ski & snowboard specialist content.