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Central Technical Teams


Italian Avalanche Service

Italian Avalanche Service



The – no-profit – Italian Avalanche Service ( is a Central Technical Team of the Club Alpino Italiano. It has been working to prevent avalanche-provoked accidents for over 40 years. The service promotes and disseminates knowledge about snow, avalanches and Alpine meteorology. It also provides training in both professional and sports contexts and promotes contacts between people interested in this subject.

Formed in 1966 to reduce the number of mountain accidents caused by avalanches, it developed in the wake of the first meteo/snow monitoring network and the publication of the first avalanche bulletins in the Italian Alps. In 1980 it started to run provincial and regional avalanche offices. Since then the Italian Avalanche Service has continued to train qualified staff, keep the public informed, coordinate and contact people interested in the subject and support scientific research.

The Regulations of the Italian Avalanche Service, approved in 1995 by the CAI’s Central Management Committee, lists the following main aims (summarized here): to acquire all possible information on snow and avalanches in order to define standard prevention and safety procedures; to disseminate such standards among CAI members and promote them among non-members too; to provide CAI’s Technical Teams with technical/educational support for training their instructors. For several years already the Italian Avalanche Service has also been an observer member of CISA–IKAR (International Alpine Rescue Commission) and takes an active part in the work of the Avalanche Commission.

In the performance of its duties, the Italian Avalanche Service works hard both in the voluntary sector and in the professional field.

To heighten awareness of accident prevention, the Italian Avalanche Service publishes articles, guidelines, books and leaflets.

A few years ago, the Italian Avalanche Service took over the important work of the Fondazione Internazionale Vanni Eigenmann, active in the world of research since 1962.

Since then, for research and development purposes, the Italian Avalanche Service seeks to gain useful information, also with the cooperation of other people or national and international bodies. As far as possible, personal contributions are provided with the support and the organization of university dissertations, studies or research in the fields of Alpine meteorology, snow and avalanches.
To this end, a “Snow and Avalanche Documentation Centre” will shortly be opening in Milan. It will offer a wide range of the main materials available in Italy and abroad: books, monographs, videos, leaflets, photographs, magazines, technical reports and statistics.

Some years ago, the CAI started a course for Snow and Avalanche Instructors (INV). This is a specialization for CAI instructors qualified in other sports who are interested in promoting accident prevention in a snowy environment within their own disciplines: Alpine ski touring, mountaineering and climbing, youth mountaineering and climbing, trekking, cross-country skiing and caving are just some examples of cooperation with other CAI Central Technical Teams.






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