Safety course 2010 - check!


As every year, the spring semester starts with a big winter safety course. For the third year in a row, the Cryoslope team was enrolled in the safety course, teaching avalanche safety. It was my second time, once again sick, and Stephan's first time and we think that we did a good job. We emphasized on teaching the students how to notice avalanche terrain and showed them certain tricks how to recognize avalanche danger. Still, we also had to teach them how to rescue an avalanche victim in a fast and effective manner, both theoretical and practical. That was Stephan's part and as a Master student with no teaching experience, he did a very good job! So now we can just hope that there are no accidents this season and all the students took something out of the lectures. Max


old-finished, new-start



After 3 years of intensive field observations the Cryoslope Svalbard research project comes to an end. Since the start of the project in 2007 we have been gathering a vast amount of data. Avalanche observations, weather observations, images and additional measurements were conducted during the last 3. Some of the data has already been analyzed and will soon be published in scientific papers and on the webpage. Every end is the start of something new. Max Eckerstorfer who has been involved in the Cryoslope Svalbard project for the last 2 years will continue some of the observations. He started his PhD in January 2009 with the goal to build the basic scientific foundation for an avalanche warning service in Longyearbyen. Therefore he continues some of the Cryoslope field observations on the little round for 2 more seasons, focusing mainly on the areas Longyeardalen, Larsbreen and Longyearbreen, upper Fardalen, Gangskaret and Frithamn and lower Todalen. Max will focus more on snow pack data collection and will only store big cornice fall events and slab avalanches in the database. Therefore we still recommend to frequently visit the Cryoslope Svalbard project webpage since cornice fall avalanches the major type of avalanche, and slab avalanches accounted for all avalanche accidents during the last 3 years.





Observations done…time to move. Since the last two years Max Eckerstorfer and Ulli Neumann have been observing avalanches, measuring meteorological and snow pack data and maintaining field equipment and installations within the project. While Max continues the avalanche observations its time to say goodbye for me. To sum it up in only a few words: I’m incredible grateful for the experiences I got and knowledge I gained working in the project. I’m deeply thankful to all my colleagues for the trust, joy, enthusiasm, respect and opportunities they brought into the project since I started. Thanks to Svalbard’s nature, who was and continues to be a great office. I will always look back with a smile on my face. Best of whishes. ulli


financed by

Norklima, Norges Forskningsråd



CRYOSLOPE gives outdoor lecture


UNIS course Arctic Geology-204 visits the CRYOSLOPE field team in Todalen. On site, Hanne Christiansen, Cryoslope project leader, tells the student about avalanche condition here on Svalavbard. After the students got the theoretical background it gets practical. Equipped with shuffle, brush, ruler, magnifier and chrystal plate, the students make there own snow pit study under the Supervision of the CRYOSLOPE field team and Hanne Christiansen. Shortly after there pit studies the students came together and discussed there results. Conclusion: Snow structure differs largely within only a few meters distance. Well done! Next stop, after the avalanche lecture in Todalen were the Pingos in Adventalen. Thanks for the visit. Ulli


"Day of safety" at the school in longyearbyen, Cryoslope was there.


Safety for pupils is an important issue at the school in Longyearbyen. As part of a "day of safety" CRYOSLOPE lectured about avalanche safety: How to assess risk, what equipment you need out on trips and how do you perform a rescue in case of burial. In the Afternoon we left the lecture hall and started for the outdoor exercise. As a collaboration between the Governors office, Red Cross and Cryoslope we went to Fardalen. Avalanche safety training equipment from Red Cross Longyearbyen made it possible to perform the exercise as real as possible and to set the newly gained knowledge into action. Result: all buried high-tech victims were found and rescued ( : Following the exercice Petter Brathen from the Governors office showed the pupils how to evaluate the snow pack just by using a shuffle, a hand and some knowledge. Thanks to the pupils, teachers and lectures. Ulli

CRYOSLOPE lectures at UNIS winter safety course


A 6 day long safety course is mandatory for all students following the spring semester program at UNIS. First aid, sea ice safety, navigation, communication, glacier rescue, polar bear defense and avalanche safety are subjects covered within this course. CRYOSLOPE contributed with a lecture about snow processes, risk assessment, tour equipment and rescue procedures concerning snow avalanches. The newly gained knowledge were testes outdoors following the lecture. The last day of the course all students participated in a day long field exercise in front of Longyearbreen including all the subjects mentioned above. That exercise concluded the UNIS winter safety course 2008. Ulli


Cryoslope talk at UNIS: AGF-213


Friday August 31 Jonas Ellehauge talks at the AGF-213 course about the Cryoslope project and avalanches at Svalbard. Download the presentation here ..


Cryoslope lecture at UNIS, AG-204


On March 28 Cryoslope technician Jonas Ellehauge gives a lecture to the students at UNIS course AG-204.

The lecture will be about the Cryoslope project as such, about snow avalanche theory - and about the avalanche observations so far this winter.

There will be examples of various high and low frequency events this winter - and we will discuss why the avalanche conditions turned out as they did.


Safety training in Ny Ålesund


Red Cross Longyearbyen has its yearly safety training with the community in Ny Ålesund. Cryoslope technician Jonas Ellehauge is part of the Red Cross team teaching avalanche safety - and actively using Cryoslope data and services in the training.


Videregående, sikkerhetstrening


English: Secondary school safety training.

(Ikke aktiv) Last ned materialet fra undervisningen her.


Safety course + seminar for UNIS students, employees and others


Avalanche classes + exersise were held at UNIS Tue Jan 9 to Fri Jan 12. Jan 19 was a seminar for staff, PhD's and master students.

(Not active) Get the meterial used in class Jan 8-12 by clicking here.

(Not active) Get the material used for the seminar Jan 19 here.


Avalanche seminar - about avalanche safety and OSS


This is the first public avalanche seminar of the season and we will give you some general information about avalanche safety and tell you about how OSS is to be used when you plan your outdoor activities.