For the fifth year in a row, the Greek Rescue Team with the French organization ANENA completed the education and training program for safe movement in a snowy field and research and rescue in an avalanche. The two training days were held on 16-17 and 18-19 February at the Kalavryta Ski Resort.
The training topics included proper preparation, risk assessment and evaluation, route planning, team organization and management, as well as search and rescue procedures. Throughout the training process, special attention was given to how to assess the risk so that climbers are prepared for the right actions. The training attended by the staff of the Kalavryta Ski Center gave special importance to nivology, the recognition of snow layers, how they are affected by weather conditions and the ways in which risk can be imprinted.
Headed by the instructor team was a French mountain guide, a partner of ANENA, and an avalanche estimator, while two members of the Greek Rescue Team, ANENA certified instructors, participated in the search and rescue themes.
The field also carried out an autopsy of the area where the heavy snowfall fell in January and generally all of the mountain slopes, where it appeared that due to the snow cover early this season, combined with low temperatures, there was a weak snow near the base of the slope. This layer combined with the orientation of the slope, the particular accumulation of snow due to wind and weather conditions have created conditions for the creation of a high avalanche hazard. The management of the ski resort, recognizing the problem, did its best by following the procedure and using the means provided to keep the center safe. As the French mountain guide pointed out, having worked on passive and active safety systems, according to the means of the ski (shooting cannon) and since there are no passive safety systems, the best possible procedure was followed. Upon completion of the training, active and passive safety methods were discussed and updated, which are considered necessary to give more to the ski staff who have successfully handled the safety of the area for so many years.
The Greek Rescue Team thanks the Kalavryta Ski Center for the cooperation and the company ANAVASI for offering the maps.
Photo credits: Kostis Migos, Vangelis Sovoulides, Nektarios Parmakis