Swiss-Austrian ‘avalanche danger management’ submitted to Unesco

The system by which Switzerland and Austria predicts and manages avalanche danger has been submitted to Unesco for potential inclusion on its ‘intangible heritage’ list.

Swiss-Austrian ‘avalanche danger management’ submitted to Unesco
Photo: SLF/Margherita Maggioni
The joint candidacy was lodged with Unesco on Friday, said the Swiss government in a statement
The threat of avalanches in Switzerland and Austria has given rise to a joint management system between the two countries based on a vast bank of historical data gathered over the centuries, it said. 
“This ancestral knowledge continually evolves combining historic practices with the most specialized techniques,” it said.
To prepare the candidacy, the Swiss federal culture office worked with both Swiss and Austrian bodies and experts including the Institute for the study of snow and avalanches (SLF) and the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC).
Unesco is expected to give its verdict in November 2018. 
Avalanche danger management was one of eight Swiss traditions approved by the Swiss government in 2014 for submission to Unesco’s ‘intangible heritage’ list, which, according to Unesco, refers to “practices, representations, expressions, knowledge and skills transmitted by communities from generation to generation”. 
Last year one of the eight, a wine festival held once every 20 years in Vevey called the Fête des Vignerons, was successfully granted Unesco status
Basel’s Fasnacht festival, the biggest carnival in Switzerland, was submitted for consideration last April, with a decision by Unesco expected this December.
In the next few years Switzerland also plans to submit to Unesco the traditions of yodelling, precision watchmaking, the alpine livestock season and Swiss typographic design.
In addition, Switzerland is also participating in another collaborative project to submit ‘the construction of dry-stone walls’ to the list along with Greece, Croatia, Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia and Cyprus. 

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Bodies of world-renowned Austrian mountaineers found in Canada

The bodies of three celebrated professional mountaineers - two Austrians and an American - were found Sunday after they went missing during an avalanche on a western Canadian summit, the national parks agency said.

Bodies of world-renowned Austrian mountaineers found in Canada
Auer (left) and Lama (right). Photos: Facebook, AFP

American Jess Roskelley, 36, and Hansjorg Auer, 35, and David Lama, 28, of Austria went missing late Tuesday at Banff National Park. Authorities launched an aerial search the next day.

The three men were attempting to climb the east face of Howse Pass, an isolated and highly difficult route.

They were part of a team of experienced athletes sponsored by American outdoor equipment firm The North Face.

“Parks Canada extends our sincere condolences to their families, friends and loved ones,” the agency said in a statement.

“We would also like to acknowledge the impact that this has had on the tight-knit, local and international climbing communities. Our thoughts are with families, friends and all those who have been affected by this tragic incident.”

Roskelley was the son of John Roskelley, who was also considered one of the best mountaineers of his own generation.

Father and son had climbed Mount Everest together in 2003. At the time, the younger Roskelley was only 20 years old, and became the youngest mountaineer to climb the planet's highest mountain above sea level.

Auer (left) and Lama (right), from Tyrol in Austria, were also considered among the best mountaineers of their generation.