In the last 14 years, 102 people have died in avalanches in Norway. 25 of these were from abroad. Foreigners accounted for almost half of all deaths in accidents with skiing or snowboarding.
This is shown in the accident statistics of the Norwegian Directorate of Water Resources and Energy (NVE).
Norway has five danger levels for avalanches. This is the same as the rest of Europe, but visitors from abroad need to read the avalanche warnings extra carefully as the snow conditions may be very different from what they are used to.
– It is therefore particularly important to read the entire warning and take the avalanche problems and advice there into account, says Rune Engeset, head of NVE's Avalanche Warning.
He thinks tourists may be more used to looking only at the degree of danger.
– Those from Alpine countries are more used to the fact that the snow stabilizes quickly with the heat in the spring and that south-facing mountain sides are safe, especially before the sun gets out during the day. Whereas here in Norway we have many accidents on persistently weak layers also in south-facing slopes and in the spring, says Engeset.
Difficult to reach
NVE has produced a lot of information about the problems mountaineering tourists in Norway may encounter.
But the challenge is to reach the tourists. That is why NVE has now chosen to publish information films on YouTube in English. They are asking the public for help in spreading the videos.
The first concerns the climate in Norway and weak layers in the snow:
The second concerns winter storms, lack of mobile coverage and the difficulty of getting rescued:
The third highlights the danger of cornices:
Since autumn 2008, 102 people have died in avalanches.
Troms is at the top in the number of accidents, and the conditions in the mountains are now described as life-threatening.
On Friday, four people died in three avalanche accidents.
– We must use all such tragic experiences to learn, says Health and Care Minister Ingvild Kjerkol.
Troms police district states that it was a male ski tourist from Slovenia in his 40s who died in the avalanche at Tverrelva in Storslett. He was part of a tour group of six people.
A Norwegian man and woman in their 60s living at home on Reinøya died in the avalanche that occurred there.
A male ski tourist from Italy in his 30s died in the avalanche at Kavringtinden in Lyngen. He was part of a tour group of five people.
Several foreign media have mentioned the avalanche accidents in Norway.