How do winter backcountry recreationists understand and use avalanche forecasts?

WSL-Institut für Schnee- und Lawinenforschung SLF

The best avalanche forecasts are worth little if users are unable to understand and apply the provided information in their risk management practices. While it is well established in the risk communication community that an in-depth understanding of the needs and skills of the target audience is critical for effective communication, avalanche safety research has traditionally focused mainly on improving the accuracy of avalanche forecasts and did not pay much attention to how the information is interpreted and applied.

In this presentation, I will provide an overview of the avalanche risk communication research we have conducted at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada). Working with various avalanche warning services including the Tyrolean Avalanche Warning Service, the Swiss Avalanche Warning Service, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, and Avalanche Canada, we have conducted several in-depth surveys to study how winter backcountry recreationists understand the provided information, navigate through the forecast products, and apply the information in trip planning situations. Instead of focusing on users’ shortcomings, we use the results of our studies to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the existing products, guide new developments, and highlight opportunities for avalanche awareness education. The insights from this research program aim to help the avalanche safety community to take a more user-centered approach to the design of avalanche safety products and services.


23. April 2024, 16:15 - 17:00


Hörsaal, SLF Davos

Organisiert von:



Pascal Haegeli, School for Resource and Environmental Management Simon Fraser University Vancouver, British Columbia


Jürg Schweizer




Vorträge und Kolloquien


Everybody interested in this topic

Um unsere Website für Sie optimal zu gestalten und fortlaufend verbessern zu können, verwenden wir Cookies. Durch die weitere Nutzung der Website stimmen Sie der Verwendung von Cookies zu. Weitere Informationen zu Cookies erhalten Sie in unserer Datenschutzerklärung.