An Evaluation of Rule-Based Decision Support Methods in Norway 2005-2014: Practical Implications for Avalanche Education


  • Linda Hallandvik Sogn og Fjordane University College
  • Off Lennart Vikene Sogn og Fjordane University College
  • Eivind Aadland Sogn og Fjordane University College



fatal avalanche accidents, outdoor recreation, Elementary Reduction Method, Obvious Clues Method, decision making


The rate of recreational avalanche accidents has increased internationally in recent years. The purpose of this study was to (1) investigate how many historical (2005-2014) fatal avalanche accidents in Norway could have been prevented by using the Elementary Reduction Method (ERM) and the Obvious Clues Method (OCM/ALPTRUTh) and (2) discuss practical implications for decision making in avalanche terrain and avalanche education. We investigated 30 fatal slab avalanche accidents, of which 93% and 100% could have been prevented by applying the ERM and OCM (3 or more positive clues), respectively. Although experts are able to use 'higher level rules' as a result of their experience, novices are not. Thus, we conclude methods such as the ERM and OCM could help novices develop expertise. Such decision-making aids are practical tools to help novices recognize critical conditions and to facilitate their ability to acquire expertise that goes beyond the use of simple checklists.






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