Wyssen Avalanche Towers as an environmentally friendly and long-term Solution to avalanche problems

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A long-lasting and cost-effective solution

Wyssen avalanche towers have been around for 20 years already, with many successful installations all over the world. In contrast to other systems, which have to be replaced after a few years of operation, Wyssen avalanche towers are characterized by exceptional robustness, durability and reliability, especially if regular maintenance is performed. At present, all installed avalanche towers are still operational – regardless of how “old” the towers are. Even first-generation-systems – including those with older control equipment – are still being used and will continue to be in upcoming seasons. Instead of replacing an entire system, if an older system needs updates, it can receive a major overhaul at the factory at extremely low cost and can be easily upgraded with the latest operations control technology. Annual servicing, at a minimal yearly cost, by Wyssen guarantees that the systems remain in perfect condition. In the history of Wyssen Avalanche Control, no major additional costs for servicing or repairs have been incurred anywhere over the service lives of the systems. This makes the operating costs predictable and therefore very easy to plan for.

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Optimum life-cycle costs

Due to the high quality materials and components used in Wyssen Avalanche Tower, a general overhaul of older systems also pays off. In this process, the equipment is completely disassembled, cleaned, if necessary re-galvanized/painted and all wearing parts replaced at the Reichenbach plant at extremely low cost. In addition, all plants - regardless of their year of manufacture - can still be converted to the latest generation of the WAC.3® Avalanche Tower control system. In addition to enjoying the most favorable life-cycle costs, Wyssen customers also benefit from the most innovative solutions in the field of temporary avalanche protection. The avalanche tower continues to be the ideal platform for additional measuring systems. Successfully deployed systems include weather stations, avalanche detection systems and the LIA®, a laser measuring device which can show the snow increase and the avalanche descent, directly from the starting area. All additional systems and extensions can be easily mounted on the Avalanche Tower and integrated into the WAC.3® user interface.

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Environmentally friendly

Wyssen pays special attention to ensuring that the construction, installation and operation of avalanche towers are performed in an environmentally friendly manner. The foundation of a Wyssen avalanche tower requires only 1m2, which keeps the impact on the area as low as possible. Explosions are performed above ground to prevent damage to the vegetation cover. In addition, care is always taken to work with biodegradable materials. The long service-life of all systems make an important contribution to the sustainability. The company Wyssen and their customers actively contribute to help protect the environment.

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Samnaun and Zermatt as showcase references

Over the past two decades, a total of 80 Wyssen Avalanche Towers have been installed in the tourist regions of Samnaun and 50 in the Zermatt area. On the one hand, the avalanche towers are used to protect the access road and the railway line to Zermatt and, on the other, they are indispensable for securing the miles and miles of ski slopes, thus guaranteeing the maximum availability of skiing facilities. The first Wyssen Avalanche Towers went into operation there in 2001 and after now almost 20 years of operation under extreme conditions, all equipment in the two areas was converted on site to the new WAC.3® operator interface and some of the older equipment was given a general overhaul at the Reichenbach plant. Thus, all systems, regardless of their year of construction, are state of the art and ensure uniform, uncomplicated and safe work in the field of avalanche prevention. In addition to the practical benefits of updating all plants, the economic aspect is worth emphasizing here and further strengthens the long-standing cooperation between the two regions and the Wyssen company.

Hans Kleinstein

The decision to install Wyssen Avalanche towers in Samnaun for avalanche protection has proven its worth for a long time. Due to the annual service from Wyssen we can rely on top-products all the time, no matter how old the tower is. We have the absolute best systems with the Wyssen Avalanche Towers in combination with the operating software WAC.3® in terms of costs, efficiency, reliablity and innovative solutions

Hans Kleinstein, Head of avalanche safety of the Bergbahnen Samnaun AG

More about the avalanche towers in Samnaun and Zermatt under the following links:

Press contact

Wyssen Avalanche Control AG

Walter Steinkogler
+41 76 271 88 58
walter@wyssen.com