Introducing Dingo Technology
Dingo is the first wearable avalanche risk assessment tool for the mass market. Dingo digitally measures a full snow profile including weak layers and snow depth as well as slope gradient and applied forces. This technology will keep skiers constantly informed about the snow conditions under them, no matter their location. Combining weather data, avalanche forecasts and crowd sourced data from the Dingo community will create the most accurate and up to date avalanche risk information on the market.
Dingo is currently under development and the first prototypes will hit the slopes in January 2018.
As a start up we are constantly trying to fail fast and cheap. We use design thinking to test our hardware with different clients and under many extreme weather conditions. This will help us give you the best product possible when Dingo hits the market.
staying safe in avalanche terrain
Tips from Geologist and Dingo.Ski CEO Monica Vaksdal
Avalanche risk is mainly a factor of three things: weather, terrain and snow layers.
Avalanche danger is affected by changing weather. Very often, avalanches happen right after a large snowfall and the degree of danger will gradually diminish in the days to follow. This means that whilst we skiers are the happiest after a big dump of fresh snow, these conditions are also often very dangerous. The wind also plays a roll in avalanche creation. Heavy winds transport snow into large packs that are often unstable and susceptible to slides. As the temperatures change the consistency of the snow layers is also affected. Sudden mild and rainy conditions weaken the snowpack due to the presence of liquid water. As the water infiltrates the snowpack it can trigger rather spontaneous avalanches. On the other hand, a longer cold period can change the snow crystals and build icy layers that have a lower density. These conditions lead to development of persistent weak layers in the snow pack, which act as gliding layers for later snowfall. Persistent weak layers can lead to large avalanches and high levels of danger for an extended period of time.
Both the terrain shape and terrain angle (gradient) affect avalanche risk. Simply put; avalanche terrain is steep enough for the snow to slide! The steeper the slope, the more gravitational pull. Everything in nature is unstable above 30 degrees, however the stability of snow is also dependent on the other conditions. In certain conditions snow is unstable at 25 degrees, while in others in can remain stable above 40. The best way to calculate slope angles is through the use of an inclinometer.
Most skier involved avalanches are triggered by the skiers themselves! Very often a persistent weak snow layer in the snow pack is to blame. Persistent weak layers can produce avalanches for days, weeks or even months, making them especially dangerous and tricky to maneuver. The best way to address this danger is to dig a snow profile and understand the characteristics of the snow pack. I will write a blog post shortly on how to analyze a snow profile.
Before you go
- Plan your route carefully; study the map to get familiar with the terrain and scope out a route for ascending and descending safely.
- Check updated local weather forecast
- Check updated avalanche forecast
- Pack proper gear
- ski safety gear such as a helmet and goggles
- avalanche rescue gear, such as beacon/transceiver, probe and shovel.
It’s also important to learn to use the gear before you set out! Consider using guides when and if you can. Local guides can help increase your experience and know-how of how to travel safely in the backcountry. Also, using guides can be the way to get an unique and truly amazing experience, a day full of the best skiing in untouched snow and good stories along the way.
For those of you skiing in Norway here are some of our favorite tools.
- Maps and terrain – NGI app: https://www.ngi.no/Nyheter/Aktuelt-fra-NGI/Hvordan-ferdes-trygt-paa-ski-i-bratt-terreng
- Local weather forecasts: www.yr.no
- Avalanche forecasts: www.varsom.no
- Guiding in the Voss area: www.wildvoss.no
If you’re looking for the full package with lodging and skiing we strongly suggest contacting Hardanger Fjord Lodge www.hardangerfjordlodge.com Here you can have a great stay and skiing experience with our expert Wille and his wife My.