freeride project

AN INTEGRATED APPROACH FOR BACKCOUNTRY SNOW SPORTS SAFETY AND AVALANCHE RISK MANAGEMENT

freeride


    

Backcountry snow sports became a strategic resource for tourism of many alpine villages. In order to prevent accidents, this trend demands for an increased awareness of the people for avalanche related risks. In Italy, the ambiguities in national laws regarding personal liability make managing backcountry activities difficult. To tackle this problem, the “Livigno Freeride Project” was initiated with the purpose of opening the backcountry for all activities and improving risk management for snow avalanche problems.

In Livigno (Italy) we started a 3 years project with the aim to address all off-piste/backcountry activities in an integrated approach: The main goal was to allow off-piste/backcountry activities while trying to increase awareness of the people for avalanche related topics. Already after one operational season the feedback was very positive and the number of freeriders evidently grew. The service of the daily local avalanche bulletin was positively received by recreational users and professionals alike. As a next step, a freeride map with terrain difficulty classifications in combination with the avalanche bulletin will be published. The same map will be the first step for a structured plan for environmental protection (e.g. wildlife protected areas).

All the activities are closely linked and integrated. For example, the helisking activity allows the cost-effective risk management and tourist promotion but, at the same time, needs to be regulated for keeping it eco-sustainable.