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Dear snow and avalanche enthusiast,
dear ÖGSL member,

when the leaves begin to change color and the apples fall from the trees, autumn has come. Time to start thinking about the approaching winter. Or at least time to take a look at the first ÖGSL newsletter of the winter season.

Snow and Avalanche Observation Standards (SLABS)

It has been more than a year since the planned digital standard for methods and techniques for recording observations in the field of snow and avalanches received its name. A few months later we established a cooperation with our sister organization from the USA, the American Avalanche Association (AAA), which allows us to use their guidelines, the so-called Snow and Avalanche Observation Guidelines (SWAGs) as a basis for the SLABS. Shortly thereafter, the first chapter on “Snowpack Observation” was completed and published on the ÖGSL homepage. Since then, however, the project has not developed significantly. Other projects got priority in the meantime and we had to realize that the SLABS cannot be implemented with the resources of a small number of people alone. For this reason, an action plan has now been launched, which foresees the development of the standards by the Spring Meeting 2023 with strong involvement of the AASA members.

The implementation will mainly be done in two parts: In the first part, so-called editors – selected experts from the AASA-family – are to edit certain chapters from the American counterpart of the SLABS, the SWAGs, and adapt them to the Austrian requirements. This part should still be completed in the course of the winter season 2021/22.
In the second part, we would like to call on all members to participate in a review process of these edited chapters. For this purpose, we will again send a separate invitation to all members in spring 2022. After the review process, a first draft will be created, which will then be discussed again and ultimately lead to a final version.

At this point, we hope to complete this important AASA project with our combined efforts and commitment and would be happy to inspire as many of you as possible to participate in the process. If you would like to become active, please contact us via

The American Avalanche Association’s (AAA) “Snow, Weather and Avalanche Guidelines” are available online at their website. These guidelines are intended to serve as a basis for the development of the SLABS.


As promised at the Annual Spring Meeting in May, we have again expanded the services on our homepage.

  • Library

The library, which we launched during the last winter season and which has already been very well received, has now been further expanded. In addition to the “Videos” section, you will now also find “Articles” and “Scientific Papers”. The presented contents have no claim to completeness, but are rather intended as a starting point and inspiration. In addition, they should offer the interested visitor of our website the possibility to deal more closely with the matter and to acquire well-founded knowledge. Accordingly, the claim lies rather in the quality and the professionally relevant, science-based content of the selected texts.

If you also come across interesting videos, articles or scientific papers, or maybe even created them yourself, please send us a link to so that we can continuously expand our infothek!

Textual content has now been added to the library on the AASA homepage.

  •  Jobportal

The AASA homepage now hosts – to our knowledge – the first platform for job offers in the field of snow and avalanches in the German-speaking world. In a (so far admittedly short) list, information about the job type, the employer, the place of work as well as the date of publication is displayed. By clicking on the corresponding line, the complete job description can be viewed.

At this point we would also like to ask you to send us information about open positions in the field to, so that we can display all relevant positions on this page as up-to-date as possible.

The new AASA job portal is intended to become a starting point for all job seekers in the field of snow and avalanches.


In addition to our sponsoring partners, we would also like to enter into partnerships with non-profit organizations and associations with which we share our vision, interests and goals. Through these cooperations we want to use common synergies and promote collaboration.
We are pleased to introduce our first so called “Strategic Partner” Protect our Winters Austria (POW). POW draws attention to the consequences of climate change, demands and promotes efforts to achieve climate goals and develops solution strategies to protect our winters. A first joint event is already taking place with Semmelnar next Monday (see Events).

All our sponsoring partners as well as our strategic partners are represented on our updated partners page on the AASA- homepage.

Courses and survey campaigns

Due to the still uncertain development regarding possible restrictions due to COVID19, no snow cover courses will be offered by AASA this winter.

However, at the beginning of winter – presumably sometime in December – we would like to start an internal AASA survey campaign on the topic of “Digitizing Snow Cover Tests”. The focus will be on force measurement during ECT with smartphones and its documentation. Additional ideas are more than welcome. Members who are interested in a corresponding one-day excursion, please contact Location and date will be determined at a later date depending on snow and weather conditions. We would be pleased about a lively participation and an interesting day together!


Almost traditionally, a whole series of snow and avalanche events take place in the fall, heralding the winter season in the northern hemisphere. In the following you will find a short overview of the most important events in Austria and abroad, which, by the way, can also be found online in our event calendar.


  • schnee.semmelnar | October

Date:                    04. Oktober 2021
Time (Main program):     12:00 – 13:00 Uhr (MEZ)
Language:                 German
Registration & Costs:     free of charge.

The first schnee.semmelnar of the winter season is all about climate change. Together with the new Strategic Partner Protect our Winters (POW), ÖGSL invites you to a talk next Monday on the topic: “How is the snow cover in the Alpine region changing due to the current warming?”
The speaker is Bernhard Hynek, a climate researcher at the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) and a lecturer at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna. Bernhard’s interest is the measurement and modeling of climatically induced mass changes of glaciers. In doing so, he works on the glaciers at Hohen Sonnblick, the Pasterze and the Freya Glacier in northeastern Greenland. In addition, he gives public lectures on the causes and consequences of current global warming.

  • Lawinensymposium Graz

Date:                    06. November 2021
Time (Main Program):     09:00 – 17:00 Uhr (MEZ)
Language:                 German
Registration & Costs:     25 EUR (reduced: 20 EUR)

The Avalanche Symposium in Graz takes place only every second year and is organized this year for the 4th time by the Friends of Nature Austria and the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG). As usual, the program of this year’s edition is tightly packed with top-class speeches by experts from the snow and avalanche community. In two conference halls of the Graz Chamber of Labour, a whopping 20 live lectures on various topics will take place. ATTENTION: Due to COVID19 there is a limited number of tickets which have to be booked in advance.

  • Alpinforum 2021

Date:                    13. November 2021
Time (Main Program):     09:00 – 22:00 Uhr (MEZ)
Language:                 German
Registration & Costs:     Info soon on the homepage.

Only one week after the Lawinensymposium in Graz, the renowned Alpinforum will take place in Innsbruck. It is expected that the symposium will also be held in presence this year. At the moment there is no information available about the program. However, we can again look forward to first-class lectures! Save the date.


  • CSAW (Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop) 

Date:                    14.- 15. October 2021
Time (Main Program):     16:00 – 21:00 Uhr (CET)
language:                 English
Registration & Costs:     until 02/10: 35 USD (ca. 30 EUR); from 3/10: 40 USD (ca. 35 EUR)
Homepage:       …/2021csaw/

Once again this year, the Colorado Avalanche Center’s Snow and Avalanche Workshop will be held virtually. Via webcast, this conference will feature international big names in snow and avalanche research and practice, who will report on new findings and developments. A practice-focused event with many interesting presentations also for the non-scientists among us. Presentations will be recorded and can continue to be viewed after the live stream.


In addition to Colorado, the Oregon and Washington Avalanche Warning Services and the Utah Avalanche Center, respectively, offer virtual snow and avalanche workshops.
The Northwest Avalanche Center hosts a snow and avalanche lecture series (NSAW) on various dates in mid-October, focusing on a variety of topics. The lectures can be followed and discussed in English for 40 USD (about 35 Euro). However, the lecture times are rather something for the night owls among us (03:00 – 05:00 CET). More information can be found here:
The Utah Avalanche Center is offering a workshop for professional patrollers on November 5. The one-day event will be held virtually and costs $25 (about 20 EUR). The event starts in the afternoon Central European Time and lasts until midnight.

At this point we would like to thank you for reading.
We hope to see you again in person or virtually at the various events.

the ÖGSL.