Next to all the stupid mistakes this group made (no tranciever, probe and shovel on all group members, avy risk 4/5, skiing close together, terrain, etc) I think the most importangt thing to share here is that in Europe we do NOT have a boundary system like in other countries. Not one resort / ski area works with a boundary system. That means that the moment you leave the groomers / pistes you are offpiste and in not controled avalanche terrain. There is no rope around the entire resort and everything in there is safe. Yes that means that also between groomers / piste is offpiste / out of bounds.
Leave the groomers / pistes and you are on your own, just like when you are out of bounds.
There are two exceptions:
- ski routes: these are marked offpiste routes that get checked. If there is a fence at the start of the ski route the route is not safe or checked. The route is marked by poles with a sign. They stand in the middle of the ski route. 20 meters left and right of the signs is safe, after that its real offpiste again.
- I know one area where they work with small boundaries inside the resorts. This in in Vars / Risoul (France). They are small lift accessed boundries inside the resort. There is a gate at the start of the boundary and a rope around the entire (small) boundary. If its not safe or checked the gate on the top is closed. These small boundaries get tracked very fast and so small that they are not really interesting imho. I am pretty shure this is the only resorts that works with this system.
So..dont make the same mistake other non-europeans made. Always take your safety gear with you when you want to ski offpiste. Offpiste / out of bounds starts literally when you go off the groomed pistes.
**This thread was edited on Mar 23rd 2015 at 6:43:43am