Henry’s Avalanche Talk, the organisation that helps skiers and snowboarders stay safe when venturing off-piste and touring, has launched a new Academy program as well as taking the well-attended tour online as a live virtual event.

  • New HAT Academy takes skiers through off-piste educational journey with ‘Safety is Freedom’ theme
  • Live talks, The Essentials and In-Depth now all Zoom based
  • Avalanche Transceiver Training remains in place as an outdoor event
  • HAT training has been proven to save lives over the last 20+ years

HAT is endorsed by snow-safety brand ORTOVOX and the French Avalanche Association (ANENA).

Both talks and the HAT Academy program are suitable for all levels of off-piste skiers and ski tourers, from the initiation level, to experts.

The new Academy, where participants can choose between a weekday or weekend version, is a series of In-Depth modules that run either over two Saturday’s in November (7th and 21st), or on every Thursday evening from October 29th to December 17th), with eight separate live and interactive sessions that last for around one hour. The programs will be limited to small groups of people with discussions taking place following any presentations by Henry Schniewind, founder of HAT.

Topics covered in the academy include The Essentials, How Avalanches are Triggered, The Human Factor, Managing a Rescue and creating and using a checklist. It’s geared towards both experienced off-piste skiers and those who want to start exploring the terrain beyond the marked ski runs.

Henry Schniewind, founder of HAT, said:

“The HAT Academy will give me the chance to get to know people and to provide them with practical help and guidance. With fewer people and more time, we can explore everyone’s questions. I know every participant will walk away with better knowledge and be better equipped to stay safe in the off piste and make better decisions. Our Safety is Freedom framework and checklist is a unique way to assess and manage risk. The HAT Academy is the best way to experience it”.

For anyone that wants to take part in both The Essentials and In-Depth talks that always take place during the autumn throughout the UK, they can still participate online during two, one-hour sessions spread across different dates. The talks are a ‘must-do’ for anyone thinking of heading off-piste in the mountains, whether with or without a qualified guide.

The Avalanche Transceiver Training program, where participants learn and practice the skills to help find buried avalanche victims quickly, are going ahead as usual with events in Wimbledon Common, Poole (Sandbanks) and Manchester (Sale Water Park). HAT is following the government guidelines for outdoor events and group sizes will be kept to a maximum of 6 people (one session – 2 groups of 6 people max), socially distanced.

A particular focus for 2020 will be to show how off-piste skiing and ski touring can be surprisingly safe when ‘the essentials’ are applied. However, it can be surprisingly dangerous if that knowledge is not applied.

Henry said:

“We’re going to discuss the latest lessons from recent research on the Human Factor and how it applies to decision making and risk taking in the backcountry and off-piste skiing. Why it is that when there are clear clues indicating danger, people who ‘should know better’ (have the basic training needed in order to recognise these clues), still get caught out in avalanches”?

Further Information

Academy Dates, Times And Price
£150 per person, includes 8 sessions (either weekend or weekly program).

The Weekend Programme
Saturday 7th November: How to understand the risks, 10am to 4.30pm
Saturday 21st November: How to apply the risk management principles, 10am to 4.30pm

The Weekly Programme
Runs from 1830 to 1930 (or later) each Thursday, from October 29 to December 17.


The Essentials Talk Dates, Times And Price
The Essentials talks are held over two week nights or two consecutive Sunday’s in two parts, each sessions lasts one hour. There are four scheduled talk events taking place.

Cost: £15 per person for both sessions.
Tuesday November 3 18:30 and Wednesday November 4 18:30
Sunday November 15 17:00 and Sunday November 22 17:00
Sunday December 13 17:00 and Sunday December 20 17:00
Tuesday January 5 18:30 and Wednesday January 6 18:30


The In-Depth Talk Dates, Times And Price
The In-Depth talks are held over two week nights or two consecutive Sunday’s in two parts, each sessions lasts one hour. There are three scheduled talk events taking place.

Cost: £15 per person for both sessions.
Tuesday November 10 18:30 and Wednesday November 11 18:30
Sunday November 29 17:00 and Sunday December 6 17:00
Tuesday January 12 18:30 and Wednesday January 13 18:30


Transceiver Training Dates, Times And Price
Henry’s Avalanche Talk Transceiver Training sessions take place outdoors and comply with UK Government regulations for educational groups. Maximum session sizes, 12 people split into 2 groups of 6 and socially distanced at a minimum of 1 metre. Each event runs from 11:30 to 14:30.

Cost: £65 per person, 3 hours training, includes use of transceiver (bring own transceiver if possible). 10% price reduction when purchasing 2 tickets using the code: hattransceiver
Wimbledon: October 25, November 1, November 8, November 29, December 30
Manchester: November 21, November 22
Poole (Sandbanks): November 15, January 3


How HAT Has Helped To Save Lives Over The Years

Henry’s Avalanche Talk has helped to prevent potential deaths caused by avalanches during its time as a leading organisation on snow safety.
Henry Schniewind explains:

“The problem that we search to solve at HAT is that more than 90% of all accident victims trigger the avalanche themselves. Accidents are avoidable for the most part. We are applying tried and tested decision making, risk and crisis management techniques that originate from aviation, military, healthcare and finance to name a few”.

Quotes From Industry Professionals In Relation To Saving Lives And HAT

“Henry Schniewind has worked in collaboration with ANENA for many years. His avalanche awareness and training has prevented over 100 avalanche deaths over the last few decades according to recent estimates”.

Dominique Létang, Director, French Avalanche Association (ANENA)

“As a former F-16 pilot and United Airlines pilot, I strongly believe in Henry’s suggested use of a framework / checklist approach for all off-piste skiers and tourers. His type of disciplined approach has saved numerous lives in the world of aviation, healthcare and other endeavours that can be safe if simple decision making and risk reduction measures are applied – but unsafe if they are not”.

Anthony “AB” Bourke, Keynote Speaker, Expert on Leadership, Communication and Teamwork, CEO and Founder Mach 2 Consulting and Mach 2 Airshows

“Henry has done fantastic accident prevention work for many years”!

Jean-Louis Tuaillon, Président, International Ski Patrollers Federation (Federation Internationale des Patrouilles de Ski FIPS), Ski Area Consultant and Expert Witness.

Previous Releases

2020 HAT On Snow Courses Complete Trilogy Of Avalanche Safety Modules For Off-Piste Rider [Archived]
Henry Schniewind Of HAT To Present At The Kendal Mountain Festival As Part Of The ORTOVOX Off-Piste Awareness Tour [Archived]
Henry’s Avalanche Talk Launches ORTOVOX Off-Piste Awareness Tour 2019 [Archived]