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European avalanche danger scale

European avalanche danger scale (2018/19) (EAWS)

Danger level


Snowpack stability

Likelihood of triggering


Very high

The snowpack is poorly bonded and largely unstable in general

Numerous very large and often extremely large natural avalanches can be expected, even in moderately steep terrain*



The snowpack is poorly bonded on most steep slopes*

Triggering is likely, even from low additional loads**, on many steep slopes*. In some cases, numerous large and often very large natural avalanches can be expected



The snowpack is moderately to poorly bonded on many steep slopes*

Triggering is possible, even from low additional loads**, particularly on the indicated steep slopes*. In certain situations some large, and in isolated cases very large natural avalanches are possible



The snowpack is only moderately well bonded on some steep slopes*; otherwise well bonded in general

Triggering is possible, primarily from high additional loads**, particularly on the indicated steep slopes*. Very large natural avalanches are unlikely



The snowpack is well bonded and stable in general

Triggering is generally possible only from high additional loads** in isolated areas of very steep, extreme terrain*. Only small and medium natural avalanches are possible

(*) The avalanche-prone locations are described in greater detail in the avalanche bulletin (altitude, slope aspect, type of terrain):

  • Moderately steep terrain: slopes shallower than about 30 degrees.
  • Steep slopes: slopes steeper than about 30 degrees.
  • Very steep, extreme terrain: particularly adverse terrain related to slope angle (more than about 40 degrees), terrain profile, proximity to ridge, smoothness of underlying ground surface.

(**) Additional loads:

  • Low: individual skier / snowboarder, riding softly, not falling; snowshoer; group with good spacing (minimum 10 m) keeping distances.
  • High: two or more skiers / snowboarders etc. without good spacing (or without intervals); snowmachine; explosives.


  • Without human influence.