As the new ski season approaches many of the regions skiers and snowboarders will be looking forward to enjoying the freedom and exhilaration of off-piste skiing during their annual winter break. Carving through pristine, off-piste powder snow however, can have disastrous consequences, with riders triggering massive, lethal avalanches every season.

This November, Poole-based winter sports retailer, RideSnow, is bringing the founder of Henry’s Avalanche Talk (HAT) and critically acclaimed avalanche lecturer, Henry Schniewind to Poole to share his knowledge and experience with the areas booming number of winter sports enthusiasts through a number of events to be held at Le Bateau (141-143 Commercial Rd, Poole).

Starting on Thursday, November 9th and running until Sunday, November 12th Henry will undertake courses on riding off-piste and avalanche awareness, avalanche beeper training and an in-depth course on riding safely.

Henry Schniewind comments, “Every year more and more recreational skiers and snowboarders head for the thrills that off-piste adventure has to offer. This passion for off-piste is a growing problem for resorts such as ours however, particularly with growing numbers of skiers and boarders seeking out the steepest and deepest powder they can find. That’s exactly where avalanches occur." Henry concludes, “Our program of education is not designed to restrict riders fun, but to educate them on the danger signs to look for, the preparation all riders should take, practical demonstrations and rescue procedures to follow."

Off-piste skiing can be notoriously dangerous, with a rising number of fatalities each year directly related to off-piste, recreational skiing and snowboarding. Forty-seven people were killed by avalanches in French resorts alone last winter, with all but one of these fatalities caused by avalanches triggered by the riders themselves or by a member of their own group while off-piste! The statistics are also grim reading for Swiss and Italian resorts, with 19 and 12 fatalities respectively.

Richard Hilton-Foster, Owner and Manager of RideSnow comments, “The Poole and Bournemouth area certainly has its fair share of winter sports fans. Many of us love the thrill of an off-piste ride, but the statistics don’t lie and many recreational skiers and snowboarders get themselves in some very serious situations."

Richard continues, “We’re delighted to be able to bring someone of Henry’s stature and experience to Poole, which enables us to get the basic messages out to a local audience, ensuring they get the most out of their winter holiday this year and stay safe at the same time."


Thursday November 9th

7pm: Riding Off-piste and Avalanche Awareness – The Basics

Presentation, 3-course dinner and Question & Answer session

₤18.00 pp

Sunday November 12th

Time TBC: Avalanche Beeper Training

A morning of practical demonstrations and instruction

₤35.00 pp

Pre-booking required

3pm: Riding Off-piste and Avalanche Awareness – The Basics

Presentation and Q&A session

₤5.00 pp

7pm: In-depth on Avalanches and Riding Safe

Presentation, buffet, Q&A session and booklet on mountain safety

₤12.00 pp

All events will be held at Le Bateau, 141-143 Commercial Rd, Poole with the exception of the Avalanche Beeper Training, which will be held at Sandbanks Beach.

All attendees to all events will receive a RideSnow 10% discount voucher, offering reductions on all winter sports merchandise until December 1st 2006.

Tickets are available in advance, with group discounts also available from RideSnow (contact details below). The events are part of Henry’s nationwide tour to promote mountain safety, which begins in Glasgow on October 12th and ends in Poole on Sunday November 12th.

For further information, ticket enquiries and reservations, please contact RideSnow on Tel: (01202) 741 744, find us in the net at or visit the store at 111 Commercial Rd, Lower Parkstone, Poole.