ortovox safety academy

Ortovox Safety Academy

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Safe Winter Project

Safety first!

What is it? Why?

The aim of the “SAVE WINTER PROJECT” is to reward and complete the work of all winter mountain professionals (Mountain Guides, Nivologists and meteorologists) which has been carried out throughout the last few years with regards to the theme of prevention in the mountains during the winter season: the "SAVE WINTER PROJECT" has been structured with a series of evenings called "TALK SNOW" and outings in snow covered environments called "Safety Test Day" these aim to teach youngsters and or beginners all about learning about the ability of handling and managing risk in the mountains during the winter.

A simple and friendly dialogue which improves learning

We have transformed the usual technical contents about prevention, which "attacked" a passive audience, into a simple, friendly dialogue which involves and makes the audience the leading character in an introductory learning path on how to move around the mountains and how to manage one's exposure to risk. A theme, which we personally believe has been neglected or treated with an academic setting which makes the understanding more complicated for the general public. Technical and qualified support will guarantee scientific merit to the "SAVE WINTER PROJECT" by including a staff of technical experts (nivologists and meteorologists from the Regional Offices of Meteorology, Snow and Avalanches of AINEVA) put side by side to Mountain Guides.
A first experiment has already been made successfully, in the province of Trento, with the support of Meteotrentino and the AINEVA technical responsible. Eight regions afferent to AINEVA will be allowed to collaborate: Vallee d'Aoste, Piedmont, Lombardia, Trentino, Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Marche which with its own regional meteorological and snow and avalanche offices (associated with AINEVA) and a few qualified Mountain Guides will take care of each single event throughout the territory.

discussing and learning

It represents the choice to use a new format which uses the American approach- and that is the talk show format, renamed for the occasion "TALK SNOW"- which has the objective of animating and making the debate between audience, experts, technical experts and Mountain Guides more fruitful, allowing people to have their questions and doubts answered, in an informal and friendly context without giving up on the quality of contents and the main message of prevention. This formula has already been experimented successfully abroad, and throughout this season in the Province of Trento.

Photographic and video support stimulate a debate

The formula allows, in fact, to involve even parts of the audience which are beginners, or other parts of the audience which tend to be resistant to the usual evenings which offer prevention as a theme. The audience is involved thanks to an innovative use of photographic and video support (with examples of correct behaviour versus incorrect) to stimulate a debate which flexibly follows the audience's attitudes and interests as an introduction to practical experimentation and behavioural aspects on snow covered slopes during the final, hands-on outing. During the evenings, time will be dedicated to the presentation of new self-rescue gear and technical gear used for winter sports.

give it a go - learn to believe

During the days planned in the right environment (depending on the snow cover and the type of consumer), skiers, snowboarders, ice climbers and snow shoe excursionists will be able to undertake their activity applying and experimenting the notions, indications and information acquired and discussed during the TALK SNOW evening. The majority of the Safety Test Day is dedicated to reading the terrain, indispensable for choosing an itinerary which favours risk management with a correct use of gear, in a winter environment, and the main self-reduce procedures.


School of Alpinism “Friends of Arco”, Igor Chiambretti and Gianluca Tognoni.

The School of Alpinism “Friends of Arco” starts off in 2001 in Arco thanks to the idea of the Mountain Guide Mauro Girardi who still to this day together with the journalist Saskia Engelhardt manages the school. It is made up of Mountain Guides who aim to promote all types of outdoor activities (ski mountaineering, Freeride, ice climbing, canyoning, climbing, trekking, vie ferrate) and the organisation of events linked to these activities. The school and especially the Mountain Guide Mauro Girardi organises trips and various courses on winter activities, dedicated to the prevention and "Snow and Avalanche" courses collaborating with the Trentino and AINEVA offices.

Igor Chiambretti: AINEVA* technical responsible – he is AINEVA's technical responsible since 2009 and is actively involved in the planning and teaching of the association's professional training activities. He boasts a long activity (since 1996) on prevention and teaching about snow and avalanches as an instructor during courses organised by the Italian Alpine Club and of the CAI's Italian Avalanche Service of which he is member of.

Gianluca Tognoni: has been working at Meteotrentino (Autonomous Province of Trento) since 1992, as a meteorologist and nivologist, but also deals with monitoring glaciers and the training of mountain guides, ski instructors etc during professional courses. Throughout the years he has spent a lot of time spreading knowledge on the prevention and the dangers of avalanches. Since 1984 he is part of C.N.S.A.S. where he has been a rescue pilot on helicopters, instructor and manager of the Riva del Garda station, one of the most active in Italy, making hundreds of rescues especially on the rock faces of Arco and around Sarca Valley. When he is not at Arco on "his" rock faces or around the Alps monitoring avalanches and glaciers…he is probably around the world skiing, his main passion.

AINEVA*: the Italian Interregional Association of Snow and Avalanches

For any other information and clarifications please contact:

Mountain Guide: Mauro Girardi
Tel: 0039-335-56228862