Dear snow and avalanche enthusiast, dear ÖGSL member,

the falling temperatures, the shorter days and the first snow on the mountain tops raise the excitement for the approaching winter. But until the last leafs have fallen from the trees and “Frau Holle” provides us with a thick blanket of snow, there is still some time left.

Autumn is high season for winter preparations. The skis are waxed, the avalanche transceivers are tested, the head is once again tuned for snow and avalanches. Conferences, seminars and exhibitions on the subject of snow and avalanches take place all over the world at this time of the year, but this year, for well-known reasons, they are either canceled or appear in a new format. The following is a brief overview of the upcoming events:

  • VSSW (Virtual Snow Science Workshop)

Date:                    October 4 – 6, 2020
Time (Main program):     16:00 – 22:00 (CET)
Language:                english
Registration & Costs:    until 28/09: 30 CAD (approx. 20 EUR); from 29/09:  40 CAD (approx. 25 EUR)

The VSSW was initiated as a substitute for the ISSW (International Snow Science Workshop) in Fernie, Canada, which was postponed to fall 2021. There will be 14 international lectures over a period of three days which can be followed via livestream from any computer or tablet. In addition, there will be discussions and presentations of submitted posters, including the submissions of the ÖGSL YSP Travel Grant 2020 finalists:

Veronika Hatvan
Model-aided assessment and prediction of local avalanche risk

Jakob Schwarz
Consistency analysis in the selection of the danger levels, avalanche problems and danger patterns in the first operative winter of the “Euregio Avalanche Report”

Andreas Tegethoff
Practical handling of release area uncertainties in avalanche simulations

  • CSAW (Colorado Snow and Avalanche Workshop) 

Date:                     October 14 – 16, 2020
Time (Main program):      17:00 – 20:00 (CET)
Language:                 english
Registration & Costs:     until 30/09: 30 USD (approx. 25 EUR); from 1/10: 35 USD (approx. 30 EUR)
Homepage:       …/2020csaw/

Similar to the VSSW, the snow and avalanche workshop by the Avalanche Warning Service of the State of Colorado will be held virtually this year. This conference will also feature webcasts of international experts in snow and avalanche research and practice, reporting on new results and developments. Altogether a more practical conference with many interesting presentations even for the non-scientists among us. Presentations will be recorded and can also be viewed after the live broadcast.

  • NSAW Snow & Avalanche Workshop

In addition to the VSSW and the CSAW, the Northwest Avalanche Center (Oregon and Washington) also offers a virtual snow and avalanche workshop. On four days towards the end of October, various presentations can be followed and discussed. Participation fees are 40 USD (approx. 35 EUR).Due to the time difference, however, the lectures in Europe take place in the middle of the night (02:00 – 04:00 CET), which is why we will not discuss the event in detail here. For highly motivated people click here for more information:

  • Alpinforum 2020

Date:                     November 14, 2020
Time (Main program):      09:00 – 22:00 (CET)
Language:                 german
Registration & Costs:     will be announced soon.

Despite the cancellation of this year’s Alpinmesse on November 14-15, the Alpinforum 2020 will take place as planned! The exciting lectures and workshops on various alpine sports topics will be held – as in previous years – at the Messe Innsbruck. An online pre-registration is obligatory due to the COVID19 requirements. Information about the program and the registration will be published on the homepage of the Alpinforum soon.

Due to the numerous events that take place in October, there will be NO schnee.semmelnar on Monday, October 5th. The first schnee.semmelnar of the winter season 2020/2021 will take place on November 2, 2020 – again in the form of a webinar. You will find more information in your mailbox soon.

Save the date!

Annual Spring Meeting (ASM) & General Assembly
November 20, 2020

Since the ASM had to be postponed in the spring due to the situation surrounding COVID19, the General Meeting will now take place in virtual format on Friday, November 20. The aim is to briefly review the past year and determine the main emphases of the new season. Please send your suggestions and ideas until the end of October to More information about the event will be announced in a couple of weeks.


The 4th International Avalanche Symposium in Graz will take place on November 5-6, 2021. Interested parties are invited to submit an abstract as an application for a talk until December 30, 2020. Further information can be found by clicking on the following link:….pdf

In conclusion, we would like to remember an ÖGSL supporter of the first hour.Sam Wyssen, CEO of Wyssen Avalanche Control AG, died together with three other individuals in a tragic air crash on the 25th July 2020.

With Sam, the avalanche world has lost not only a pioneer and visionary in the field of operational avalanche risk management, but also an extraordinary personality. His authenticity in thought and action, his uprightness, as well as his always open and friendly manner will remain in our memories forever.

Sam Wyssen, Wyssen Avalanche Control AG | ÖGSL – Österreichische Gesellschaft für Schnee und Lawinen

Sam Wyssen at the ISSW 2018 in Innsbruck.

Until the next update we wish you a pleasant autumn, lots of health and hopefully an early start into a good winter season.

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