International snow science workshop

Practice meets theory in Innsbruck

The world’s largest conference on snow and avalanches, ISS W, was held for four days in Innsbruck (Austria) at the beginning of October. Merging theory and practice generated great synergies.


The success of the International Snow Science Workshop lies in its motto of many years: “A Merging of Theory and Practice”. This year’s installment of the world’s largest conference on snow and avalanches proved once again that merging theory and practice can generate valuable synergies. The five-day event held at the Congress Innsbruck Center was attended by some 1,000 local, domestic and international experts, both from scientific fields and practitioners.


An interdisciplinary exchange of information among snow experts was promoted through oral and poster presentations and panel discussions. Together with a sideline international exhibition integrated into the event, this enabled direct interaction with the broad target audience.

The thematic focus was on current advances in snow and avalanche science, case studies and innovative technologies on an international level. In addition to the general ISSW topics, including avalanche forecasting and dynamics, snow conditions and snow management, rescue and guiding, as well as engineering practice and risk management, the ISSW 2018 focused also on special topics such as integral engineering solutions, avalanche accidents and terrain-based decision-making.


Finally, a variety of training courses were offered to alpine guides, safety representatives and engineers. A rich excursion program offered a unique opportunity to gain insight into the activities of local experts and gain exposure to current issues and their proven and tested solutions in practice. For the first time, a day entitled “ISSW Goes Public” was organized offering representatives of the broader public a platform to discuss the complex of themes “Science and Society – Mountains and Natural Hazards”. ts

Thomas Aselmi explained at the ISSW the functioning of measuring devices from SOMMER Messtechnik.

The main ISSW sponsor, INAUEN-SCHÄTTI, introduced its avalanche tower LM 32 (from left): Oswald Graber (Outdoor Engineers), Marco Larghi, Braden Smith (Outdoor Engineers) und Michael Hanimann. Photos: SI/Surrer

Rainer Krismer from JK KRISMER and Francesco Masola from MACCAFERRI jointly presented safety nets.

The largest presence at the ISSW had WYSSEN AVALANCHE CONTROL as its presenting sponsor: 1st row, from left: Samuel Briner, Walter Steinkogler, Sam Wyssen, Cesar Vera, Lisa Dreier, Nicole Schmid, Roz Reynolds, André Wäfler, Christian Wyssen 2nd row from left: Hans-Jürg Etter, Paul Dobesberger, Paul Velsand, Stefan Kopeinig, Andreas Egger, Stian Langeland, Mario Giunta.

Alarm & surveillance systems for natural hazards were offered by Gian Darms (left), Susanne Wahlen and Lorenz Meier from GEO PREVENT.

Rico Brändle (left), Helene Hofmann and Murat Diemer presented avalanche protection systems from GEOBRUGG.

A sideline international exhibition integrated into the event, enabled direct interaction with the broad target audience.