Innsbruck by night
Skiing at dawn

Early Birds and Night Owls

Modern lightning technologies like headlamps make it possible: Ski tours can also be done after dawn. Our LVS-Checkpoints have shown that many people return from ski tours after sunset. This can not only be a safety risk but also means an evitable risk to wild animals. Especially since many of them have their highest activity during dawn.

Many late risers

The evaluation of our LVS-Checkpoints shows that the image of ski tourers being early birds is no longer true. Many of them do not start until 10 or 11 am. - and as a result - some return even after sunset.

How does that affect the Black Grouse?

Especially during dawn Black Grouse are extremely sensible as far as disturbance is concerned. In order to safe as much energy as they can they restrict their period of activity to dusk and dawn. During day and night they rest in snow caves.

If ski tourers disturb a Black Grouse during its period of activity, the energy usage increases by the factor of 12. Furthermore Black Grouse can only fly downwards which means that they have to walk all the way back up. This takes not only lots of energy but also quite a time. Time Black Grouse normally need for food intake.

Disturbance during the period of activity might have disastrous consequences for Black Grouse.

Dinner at dawn

Apart from Black Grouse also the Red Deer has its period of highest activity during dawn. While the dark is coming up the Red Deer makes its way to the feeding places. During this time in only takes one skier to scare off an entire heard. Especially at times of lots of snow Red Deer might not be able to return to the feeding. In order to appease their hunger anyways they eat what they can find: tiny trees.


In case of emergency...

Ski tours at dawn are not only a bad idea for wild animals but also for our own safety. Imagine falling or getting hit by an avalanche - without daylight a regular ski tour can turn into an emergency within seconds.

Our recommendation

In order not to disturb wild animals being active during dawn we recommend to be at the summit not later than 2 pm. Thereby you still have enough time in case of emergency.