University of Innsbruck

IDC Natural Hazards field trip to the Western Alps, Valais, Switzerland

from 05.-07.09.2023


An example for world-class investigations of gravitational mass movements is the Vallée de la Sionne (VdlS) full-scale snow avalanche test-site of the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) in Valais, Switzerland. Since the year of 2000 an additional mudflow testsite can be visited in the close Illgraben. With this field trip, we, IDC PhD students from different fields and backgrounds, would like to suggest and outline a joined, interdisciplinary tour to the Vallée de la Sionne and Illgraben avalanche and mudflow test-sites. The travel to Valais will be accompanied by further short stops along the way at the historic Flims rockslide and the Rhône Glacier. The combination of studying historic natural hazards, as well as current monitoring, investigation and mitigation methods will allow us to get a deeper understanding of natural hazards in general and to broaden our horizon across research topics. To allow further students to experience this unique opportunity, we would like to invite up to 9 additional PhD and Master students of the University of Innsbruck to join us (up to a total group size of 15 people).


Tentative time plan
Day 1: Tuesday, 05.09.2023

  • 07:00 h: Early start from Innsbruck University
  • 10:30 h: Excursions in the area of the Flims rock slide/ Glarus overthrust
  • 13:00 h Lunch break on the way
  • 18:00 h Arrival at camp ground, tent assembly and dinner

Day 2: Wednesday, 06.09.2023

  • 08:00 h Individual breakfast and stop for buying lunch/dinner snacks
  • 10:00 h Visit and guided tour at the full-scale test-site Vallée de la Sionne
  • 18:00 h Night at camp site or in avalanche observation bunker of VdlS

Day 3: Thursday, 07.09.2023

  • 06:00 h Individual breakfast and dismounting tends or return from test bunker
  • 07:30 h Departure from Arbaz (VdlS)
  • 08:30 h Visit of Illgraben
  • 09:30 h Departure from Illgraben
  • 12:00 h Lunch break and little excursions in the area of the Rhône glacier
  • 13:00 h Departure from Rhône glacier
  • 20:00 h Arrival at Innsbruck University


If you are interested in joining, contact Nora (

We are looking forward to exploring the Western Alps!


Your field trip organisation committee, 

Nora Krebs, Johannes Branke, Marcel Ortler, Anna-Katharina Sieberer, Clemens Hiller, and Michael Neuhauser