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Avalanche Hazard- Providing Information and Education to those who engage in winter activities in Scotland’s Mountains

A SEMINAR/WORKSHOP. UHI Inverness 19-20 June 2019

In June 2019 SAFOS held a seminar/workshop for organisations and individuals involved in delivery, education and enabling participation. Its objectives were to help develop how avalanche hazard is understood and presented to a range of user groups who are engaged in all mountain activities and disciplines. Including professional mountain guides and Instructors, mountain rescue  personnel,and those who engage in winter activities for recreation.

Over two days presentations and workshops covered the following topics:

  • Furthering our understanding of Scotland’s winter environment and its challenges.
  • Addressing the established ‘Be Avalanche Aware’ framework and consider steps for its development and presentation to a range of groups and communities that engage in the winter environment. eg. formal avalanche education structures – modules – learning platforms – public information.
  • Understand how those who engage in the winter environment are influenced by others via peers and social-media.
  • Understand how individuals interact with danger and risk.

These topics were presented by representatives and experts from Avalanche Canada, Scottish Avalanche Information Service, Mountain Training Scotland, Glenmore Lodge – National Outdoor Training Centre, Meteorological Office, Elite athlete coaching and human behaviour researchers.

The seminar established 3 clear areas for workshop discussion: Communication, Education and Strategy.

The workshops which took place on the second day provided outcomes for SAFOS to take forward from 2019 and included 4 main headings:

Research – To understand how users are informed and interpret information. Collaboration between Canadian and Scottish Universities and SAIS is developing this research which will help support: communication, education and strategy.

Education – To develop an education programme appropriate for many levels of user based on the Be Avalanche Aware process.

Communication – To develop information exchange methods which consider the best way to inform, using appropriate people with the right message . Providing the right message in collaboration with established social media groups.

Strategy – To develop a strategy for identifying the importance, priority and resources  required to address the workshop outcomes in as effective a manner as possible.

Members of SAFOS will now address the outcomes from the seminar with the principal of expedient action.

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