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Freeride and security


D.V.A.*, shovel and probe are a freerider's best friend. And because having a good equipment isn't enough, come and learn how to use it during introductory D.V.A.* session, organized every Tuesday by the Lac ESF on the D.V.A* Training Zone.


  • D.V.A* (Avalanche tranceiver or avalanche beacon)

D.V.A..* is a transmitter/receiver. It allows rescuers to search for the exact location of an avalanche victim, even when buried under several metres of snow.


  • The probe

After the victim's localization via the D.V.A*, the probe allows rescuers to locate the victim with greater precision and certitude and, above all, to know how far down to dig.


  • The shovel

Finally, the shovel allows rescuers to reach the buried victim and get him or her out in time.

D.V.A.*, shovel and probe: an essential trio of every off-piste outing. Neglecting a single link in this important chain limits the effectiveness of every search!


You are an off-piste fan? Before heading out to the powder snow, it's essential to prepare your off-piste route carefuly.


  • DVA training

Having a D.V.A.* is good, but knowing how to use it is even better!  Every freerider must learn, practice or perfect their own search technique using en avalanche transceiver.

Free introductory sessions are organized by ski schools. More information in the programme of the week. Join in!

And verifying that your D.V.A.* works before heading out is vital!


  • D.V.A.* Checkpoint

Installed on the totems next to the meather and snow condition bulletins, allows you to test your D.V.A.* in transmission mode.
Before heading off-piste, don't forget to set your D.V.A.* to transmission mode.
To search for someone buried by an avalanche, don't forget to set it to reception mode.




Tignes offers you 12 "Naturides": black slopes, marked out with beacons but not groomed.


Before heading out for a freeride session, it’s essential to get information on the weather forecast of the day and the snow-cover conditions.


  • Check out the weather forecast, avalanche-risk and observed-avalanche bulletins of the past 72 hours for the Tignes area posted at the 4 Freeride Points located on Tignes ski area, in the "Maisons de Tignes" and on the Tignes app.
  • When you are in the chairlift, check the area state and locate the line you are planning to follow.
  • Get even more information on the slopes: the ski patrol will be pleased to welcome you in their chalets and give you advice.

Be cautious...

Conditions in the mountains can change quickly. Return when the conditions are once again optimal for your outing. Poor visibility, fog, night and snowfall disrupt and slow down assistance efforts in the event of an accident.

If the conditions are anything but optimal, it is highly recommended to stay on the marked pistes!

Tignes native and four-time freeriding world champion Guerlain Chicherit has this word of advice: “Never head out alone.”

Before any backcountry outing :

  1. Be aware of any avalanche risks:
  2. Check the snow-pack with the ski patrol
  3. Never head out alone
  4. And don’t forget the essential trio: D.V.A*, snow shovel and probe – a freerider’s best friends.”


Excavating without a plan delays the rescue effort. The “V” digging technique allows you to save time and to lower the risks of stamping over the victim.


Here are its key points:

  • Place the rescuers in a “V” position, the largest part of the “V” being as wide as the depth of the snow over the victim assessed by the probe
  • Favor paddling movements in a standing position (more efficient and less tiring than lifting the snow and throwing it behind you)
  • Get the rescuers to swap places clockwise, maximum every 4 minutes, to avoid exhaustion
  • Dig till you see the victim, then clear the snow over their head as fast as you can
  • Simultaneously, clear the snow around the victim’s body.

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