Transnational Meeting on Improving safety in the mountains in winter

Transnational Meeting on improving safety in the mountains in winter

18. 03. -23. 03. 2018, Komna hut, Slovenia

We are successfully over the first Transnational Meeting, and it was huge success! At first we were quite afraid, as we have never done anything like this before, but thanks to our great Slovenian hosts and all the participants, it was a real great experience! 

The main goal of the meeting was to learn and share experiences on how to increase safety in the mountains in the winter. Bringing together people from countries with such different Alpine traditions, like Iceland, Hungary and Slovenia proved to be a really great way to learn. This way we had the chance to really gain a deep understanding of and discuss on the similarities and differences on our mountaineering education systems (with respect to winter), our methods in training and winter mountain safety, and learn new techniques and tricks from each other. 

Some of the topics of the Meeting were: increasing avalanche awareness; snow layer structure analysis (including sharing the data through open source databases e.g. at; correct route choice and tour planning; winter orientation; avalanche rescue techniques; correct ski techniques; appropriate gear; winter mountain weather; winter mountain first aid; winter mountain self  rescue techniques; rescue techniques of official rescue bodies; cooperation with rescue bodies; group psychology; organizing competitions (e.g. skimo competitions) in the winter and their safety aspects; how to increase awareness and educate people not closely related to the above sports (e.g. people leaving the slopes for occasional freeriding, practicing snow shoeing, etc.). 

One of the highlights of the meeting were 2 lectures, one on Avalanches by Miha Pavšek from the Anton Melik Geographical Institute in Slovenia, and one by Matija Volontar from the Slovenian Mountain Rescue Services on mountain rescue procedures. Next to these we had a big number of other activities, like round table discussion to discuss the education system for winter mountain activities in each country, a great lecture from Luka Starzar on winter mountaineering, discussions of cold weather first aid, group psychology and route finding. Thanks to the great setting during the days we had the chance to train together on avalanche rescue and snow pit analysis on the two foggy days, and route finding, winter orienteering, proper ski techniques in all terrain, and group dynamics on the rest of the week. 

Thanks to all for participating, to our great hosts from the Matica club to make it happen, and of course to Erasmus+ Sport for funding!