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Dear snow and avalanche enthusiast,
dear ÖGSL member,

the snow is melting and the winter – at least from a meteorological point of view – has passed. Time for our spring newsletter.

schnÖGSL’n 2021 & schnee.semmelnare

In the last three months we could again organize some interesting online events with great guests, which were attended by a large number of participants.

SchnÖGSLn – an avalanche awareness evening organized by ÖGSL once a year – was held digitally on January 21 and was streamed live on Youtube. Some top-class guests from Austria and abroad were present: Prof. Dr. Jürg Schweizer and Dr. Beni Zweifel from the SLF in Davos, Walter Zörer, President of the Austrian Mountain and Ski Guide Association, as well as MSc Lisa Pulling from the AWS of Styria offered to more than 750 viewers interesting insights into various topics and answered the audience’s questions. For those who have not yet seen it: The SchnÖGSLn 2021 is available (in german) in our library.

schnÖGSLn 2021 – Questions & Answers about snow and avalanches.

With about 50 to 80 people participating, our technical schnee.semmelnars – which take place on every first Monday of the month – were again well attended.

In January, Bastian Bergfeld, PhD student from the SLF Davos, gave a presentation on fracture propagation in slab avalanches. He was followed in February by Dr. Pascal Haegeli from the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, who in his research examined the users of avalanche bulletins in more detail in order to adapt the products of the warning services even better to the users. Finally, DI Matthias Granig, head of the avalanche department of the WLV section Tyrol spoke at the schnee.semmelnar in March about the exceptional avalanche cycle in Eastern Tyrol in December 2020 and presented the avalanche simulation model SamosBeta. All schnee.semmelnars are also available online in the ÖGSL library.


In the next schnee.semmelnar on April 12, Manuel Genswein will give a presentation on the topic of avalanche rescue. Manuel is a born in Switzerland and is one of the experts when it comes to avalanche safety. He has been developing products and technologies for avalanche rescue for more than 20 years, which are used all over the world. He has worked as an avalanche expert in more than 25 countries. You’ ll receive an invitation to the event in your mailbox in early April.

Manuel Genswein is involved in the development and training of avalanche rescue equipment and search strategies worldwide.

The Avalanche Hour Podcast

Starting with a first episode about ÖGSL – with JT Fischer and Christoph Mitterer – which was published in mid-February, the ÖGSL has recently become a contributor to the American podcast ‘The Avalanche Hour’ by Caleb Merrill.

The podcast has already been around for a few years and is an interesting channel especially for people with a fascination for avalanches to listen to other perspectives and experiences. With a few episodes per season, ÖGSL will represent the European snow and avalanche community and present topics from Austria and neighboring countries.

You can listen to the podcasts on the podcast app of your smartphone, on i-Tunes, Spotify or for example here.

ISSW 2021 – Fernie

The ISSW in Fernie, which should have taken place last fall and was postponed to October 2021, has now been cancelled. The next International Snow Science Workshop will therefore take place in October 2023 in Bend (Oregon, USA).

For the recipient of our Young Snow Professional Award, however, the sponsorship will of course remain in effect and we will try to find a good alternative solution together.

Science is not allowed to meet Practice due to current Covid-situation.


The Avalanche Warning Services of Tyrol, South Tyrol, and Trentino are collaborating with the Avalanche Research Program at Simon Fraser University to start a research initiative to better understand how different types of backcountry users and decision-makers use their avalanche bulletin products.

To do this, the AWS are building a community of backcountry users and decision-makers interested in providing feedback, playing an active part in improving avalanche safety products, and brainstorming about new opportunities.

If you are interested in participating in this initiative, you can find the signup survey and more information here.

In conclusion, we would to remember our friend and colleague, head of the department for natural hazards at the Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW), Dr. Karl “Charly” Kleemayr.

Karl Kleemayr sadly passed away far too young on February 26, 2021 and will leave a big gap in the snow and avalanche world. His dedication and inspiring enthusiasm, his wealth of ideas and, last but not least, his contribution to the ÖGSL, as a supporter from the very beginning, will remain in our memories forever.

The funeral will take place on Saturday, March 13 at 2:00 p.m. and will be streamed live on Youtube for friends of Charly who cannot be at the church in person.

Dr. Karl Kleemayr: Researcher, Creative Spirit, Networker, Jazz Musician

Until the next update from the ÖGSL we wish you a wonderful spring, plenty of health and a good conclusion of the winter season.