News has come out today that the Italian government are taking steps to punish and fine skiers and snowboarders who start avalanches.
Last weekend there was a terrible story of 7 skiers who died in Trentino, Italy who were caught in avalanches. 4 of the dead were rescuers. On the same day a 12 year old German boy was also killed in the area.
The new law would stipulate that skiers found to have caused avalanches would be liable for fines up to €5,000. These fines would be for skier who ignore warnings and continue to ski off piste when avalanche warnings are in operation. Part of the law would be to protect the rescue workers, who risk life and limb searching for these skiers. In many cases the skiers would have ignored warning signs or would have exited the normal pistes. The rescue workers job in a dangerous one, and many of these incidents could be avoided if skiers had adhered to signs and warnings.
The Italian Tourism Minister Michela Vittoria Brambilla even went as far as to say that serious offenders should be given prison terms. If the law is successful it could be in place before the end of this years ski season.
Over the past decade years the number of deaths caused by avalanches has risen sharply. One of the big factors attributed to this rise is the increased popularity in off piste skiing. Skiers and snowboarders alike are searching for more extreme terrain and with new technology for skis it is alot easier to ski in deep powder.
Join in our discussion about the dangers of avalanches.