In recent years, most avalanche fatalities have been due to dry-snow slab avalanches triggered by the victims themselves during recreational activities, at least in countries where recreational skiing takes place, as in Western Europe and North America. Simple analysis suggests, and previous measurements have shown, that the skier's dynamic impact is relevant for triggering, decreasing with increasing depth within the snow cover er and depending on the layering of the snow cover. The stress distribution below a skier in the snow cover is not known, but is important in view of the critical area required for fracture propagation preceding dry-snow slab avalanche release. The skier's zone of influence was measured with load cells buried within the snow cover in a level study plot for different depths. The size of the area of influence is of the order of a few 0.1m2, but also depends on the weak-layer strength. Stresses in the snow cover below skiers who walk behind each other are not cumulative. The effect on the influence size is in accordance with the independent estimate for the critical size (0.1-1 m) for fracture propagation in the case of rapid loading. It supports the hypothesis that skiers induce a brittle fracture within the weak layer or at a weak interface between layers, leading under certain conditions to slab release, without necessarily hitting a pre-existing flaw.