Safety for up to 30‘000 people travelling through the valley per day
Zermatt, as one of the most popular ski resorts in Switzerland, relies on Wyssen for its hazard prevention against avalanches. On the way to Zermatt there are more than 30 avalanche paths to be taken care of that could hit the road and railway. Obviously, the organization for avalanche control has to function extremely well in order to protect up to 30’000 people travelling in or out the Zermatt valley. This has been established by Bruno Jelk, well known for his spectacular rescue activities around the Matterhorn as well as in the Himalaya region.
The avalanche control team has access to a variety of automatic wind, snow and weather stations to evaluate the current situation of hazard level. Beside the very experienced team, clear procedures help to do the ongoing forecasting and realization of the temporary measures, such as avalanche control, closures, evacuations etc., in a very professional way.
All data acquisition and evaluation, decisions taken and measures carried out are documented and stored. This helps on one hand, for evaluations in the future if the situation seems to be similar to one in the past. On the other hand it is very important for the people to have this record in order to show what they have done when it should come to an accusation.
Since 2004, the avalanche control team has Wyssen Avalanche Towers in various avalanche starting zones in service for preventive remote controlled triggering. Since then damages to people and infrastructure were prevented successfully. This works thanks to very professional staff and operation of the avalanche team and as well thanks to the high reliability and the enormous effectiveness of the Wyssen Avalanche Towers, which allows the release of even small amounts of snow from only 20 to 30 cm.
In order to protect the guests on the ski slopes in the resort of Zermatt, there are 40 Wyssen Avalanche Towers installed in total by winter 2016/17.
Thanks to the upgrade of Wyssen Towers to the brand-new and innovative controls and web-based operations interface, the avalanche control procedure can be carried out in much shorter time and in a more intuitive way. This is very important because during avalanche cycles, the stress level for the avalanche control team is obviously high. This requires tools you can rely on.
The rugged environment of the areas where the Wyssen Towers are installed (mostly above 3000 m) demands tough equipment.