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Experts issue Alps avalanche warning

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An avalanche.

ALPINE DANGERS: The risk of getting caught in an avalanche is high in the Alps these days, as thousands of holiday makers make their way to the slopes. Judging the risks involved is not easy, warns expert Per-Olov Wikberg at the Swedish Mountain Safety Council.

“Some might think that going down a number 3 slope in Sweden is the same as doing a number 3 slope in the Alps”, he says to the news agency TT.

This week many of the popular ski resorts in Austria carries a number 3 on the 1–5 scale measuring avalanche risk, meaning there is a “substantial risk” of an avalanche. In Sweden, the same situation might have generated a number 4 ranking, according to Wikberg. To solve that problem, the council has been working for two years on trying to adapt the different scales to each other.

The last few weeks have seen a row of accidents in Sweden alone. On February 6, a 42 year old safety officer was killed at ski resort Hamrafjället while conducting an avalanche inspection. On the 15th of the same month, a Swedish skier was killed in Ischgl, Austria. And on Feb 17, a member of the Dutch royal family was severely injured in Lech.

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.