Unusually many avalanches – still a significant danger level


The Norwegian Joint Rescue Coordination Centres have handled 35 avalanche cases during the last week. 25 of these cases have been in North Norway, the normal is two to three cases in this period.

It is still very dangerous to be in the mountain regions with a high avalanche risk, says Joint Rescue Coordination Centre North Norway (JRCC NN). This statement is strongly supported by JRCC South Norway and the police, who has the lead role in the Rescue Sub Centers (RSC).

The number of avalanches in Norway has been extreme, the risk of getting caught in one is high, and we have nobody to lose. The JRCC and the RSC now join forces to warn people before they start out into the mountains. We want as many as possible to use the nature and the mountains, but all have to do a thorough risk assessment both before start and during the trip. The risk of triggering an avalanche is now high enough that even simple trips on skis or snow scooters must be risk assessed. Nobody should enter areas with terrain slopes of 30 degrees or more, or in flatter areas that an avalanche could reach.

«We receive daily reports of ongoing dangerous situations due to avalanches in North Norway,» says Bente Jonassen at JRCC NN. «It is simply life threatening to enter areas where you can get caught in an avalanche.» She ephasizes that even with the excellent cooperation between all the elements of the Norwegian Rescue Service, there is still a very high risk of losing your life if caught in an avalanche.

We strongly encourage everybody to do a thorough risk assessment before going on trips in the wild. Will this be a safe trip? How can I make it safe?

Tips for a risk assessment:

  • Check the weather forecasts
  • Check the avalanche warnings on www.varsom.no
  • Downloat the app «Bratt» (Android and  IOS), and check the slope maps for the area you are planning to enter
  • Does your risk assessment now tell you that the trip will be safe? Remember to check your kit and bring all you need – have a good and safe trip!