SAFIOS Seminars

As part of its role in encouraging discussion on snow and avalannches in Scotland, SAFOS has to date organised three seminars at Glenmore Lodge (in 2001, 2004 and 2006). These seminars provided an opportunity for those involved in the provision of, for example, avalanche education to hear discuss developments in Europe and North America. Furthermore, the seminars provide an opportunity for the mountaineering community to feed back its views on issues to the SAFOS board.

SAFOS Seminar 2006

The third SAFOS seminar in 2006 followed on from the success of previous events in bringing international experts to Glenmore Lodge. In response to feedback from previous seminars time was set aside for break out groups and disucssions, and these discussions resulted in a number of developments which SAFOS is now pursuing.

The seminar's focus was on avalanche education, with the following aims:

  • to provide an opportunity for those responsible for the delivery of avalanche education to hear examples of best practice from the UK and abroad;
  • to provide a forum for the discussion of what level of avalanche education is appropriate and how it can be best delivered to differing target groups;
  • to bring together those involved in the provision of avalanche education in Scotland and the UK; and
  • to provide an update on specific issues related to avalanche education.

The full programme of the seminar is below.

Saturday 8th April
09.45 Introduction and welcome Tim Walker and Ross Purves
10.00 Avalanche education in France Fréderic Jarry
11.15 Changes to Canadian Avalanche Education following the deadly winter of 2002-03 Bruce Jamieson
12.15 Challenges in avalanche education in Switzerland Jürg Schweizer
14.00 A perspective from Plas Y Brenin Iain Peter
14.30 Developing avalanche education for mountaineering professionals Mark Diggins
15.00 Experiences from the "chalk" face Simon Powell
15.45 Breakout groups - Where should we go now?
1700 Plenary discussion

Evening Lecture
19.00-20.00 Avalanche hazard and safety in an Alpine context Jürg Schweizer

Sunday 9th April
09:00 But will there still be avalanches in 2100 - snow and climate change in Scotland Richard Essery
10.00 Stability tests - which ones and how to interpret them? Bruce Jamieson
11.00 SAIS Winter Report for 2006 Blyth Wright
11.30 Workshop introductions
12.30 Workshops

SAFOS Seminar 2004

The second SAFOS seminar in 2004 included talks from international experts from Switzerland, Canada and France. Amongst the central themes discussed were a range of different stability tests and human factors in avalanche forecasting and decision making. The full programme of the seminar is below.

Saturday 31st. January
10.00: Welcome and introduction Eric Langmuir
10.30 The avalanche problem in Scotland now Blyth Wright
11.00 Snowpack stability and its implications in hazard assessment Juerg Schweizer
13.30 Nivotest and other techniques for assessing snowpack stability Robert Bolognesi
15.00 Human factors in avalanche forecasting Dave McClung
17.15 A snowboarders view. Films and discussion Paul Raistrick

Sunday 1st. February
9:30 Winter mountaineering in Scotland today Blair Fyffe
9.50 The Swiss avalanche problem Juerg Schweizer
10.10 The Canadian avalanche problem Dave McClung
10.30 Avalanche forecasting - lessons and differences Ross Purves
11:30 Heuristic traps in avalanche decision making Juerg Schweizer
12.30 Depart for field work
17.00 -18.00 Plenary discussion and conclusion

SAFOS Seminar 2001

The first SAFOS seminar in 2001 saw the launch of SAFOS itself. It was an opportunity for a range of speakers to introduce the history of the avalanche problem in Scotland, with Hamish MacInnes, Eric Langmuir and Blyth Wright setting out the background to the development of the SAIS.

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