Quite a headline-grabbing title, but actually a serious post.

Around Chamonix at the moment, you can often here cannon-like blasts in the early morning. These are set charges being blasted to shift snow in controlled circumstances to help prevent avalanches. Recently, I went to a meeting organised by Henry’s Avalanche Talk in a local bar. It was a superb introduction to the dangers involved in skiing and snowboarding off-piste. Definitely recommended if you’re in the Chamonix area – they’re done regularly and cost very little.

The reason this post came us is because we’ve lost at least one staff member – an experienced boarder/skier – in an avalanche recently. It can happen to anyone. He was a chef at one of our hotels and by all accounts a really nice guy. I can’t say I knew him, but it’s always sad to hear of someone dying while pursuing a hobby when they should be enjoying themselves. Another important thing to bear in mind is that those that cause avalanches aren’t always the only victims – anyone downhill is in serious danger as well.

Soap box time over, folks. But if you’re going to go off-piste – please, please be aware of the dangers.