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Snow and avalanche 2017/18

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Another avalanche in Austria.

Salient points -

Area = Rifflsee in Pitztal
Two Germans 37 & 39 years old.
2500m.
East facing slope
Both caught by a slab avalanche which they triggered
Carried 500m by the avalanche.
One (39) called the emergency services the other one (37) activated his avalanche rucksack and although he remained only partcially buried he suffered a broken leg.
Helicopter rescue.

https://www.stol.it/Artikel/Chronik-im-Ueberblick/Chronik/Deutscher-in-Nordtirol-von-Lawine-mitgerissen

http://www.nachrichten.at/nachrichten/chronik/Snowboarder-in-Tirol-rund-500-Hoehenmeter-von-Lawine-mitgerissen;art58,2763796
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
They got more than they bargained for... https://www.facebook.com/rom.montimart/posts/511500169219466
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
http://www.20min.ch/schweiz/news/story/Beeindruckender-Lawinenabgang-in-der-Waadt-24780324
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Some video of Spanish skier Adria Millan, known for his series "South Lines" with Aymar Navarro. He caught in the entrance to a West facing couloir on theTuc de Baciver in the Baqueira - Beret ski area. Notice the snow has been transported by wind. He escapes partly due to being a very very strong skier but he was lucky the avalanche didn't catch up with him in the couloir. Just to show that while couloirs can be relatively save, the entrances can be more dangerous if they are this type of "funnel" layout.

http://www.skipass.com/news/157204-avalanche-grosse-frayeur-pour-adr.html
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
"He escapes partly due to being a very very strong skier." Toofy Grin

I should say...

Nice part of the world if you have a chance to go, and the touring and avi resources published by the valley are some of the best I've come across.
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Not sure if posted already but worth a watch.

https://www.facebook.com/chamoniarde/videos/1719526858103806/
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
nozawaonsen wrote:
Not sure if posted already but worth a watch.

https://www.facebook.com/chamoniarde/videos/1719526858103806/


thanks
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote from a tweet with photos from The Espace Killy guides today . Couldn’t copy the pics

Some photos of news in the mountains of la Vanoise, whose a frost of surface encountered everywhere and that we'd better remember the existence for the next snowfall. ☺❄🎿🚡

Quelques photos d'actualité dans les montagnes de la Vanoise, dont une du givre de surface que l'on rencontre un peu partout et dont on ferait bien de se rappeler l'existence aux prochaines chutes de neige. ☺❄🎿🚡
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Yes it is quite a thick layer of surface frost now. It is very cold and clear at night and this is helping its formation. Next week snow will fall on it.


credit: https://twitter.com/guidespacekilly

Avalanche in St Luc today

https://www.24heures.ch/suisse/saint-luc-avalanche-emporte-3-personnes/story/15544302

3 ski tourers, 1 in serious conditions, others lightly injured
snow slab under the Corne de Boeufs
2700 m altitude
Avalanche beacons
risk 3/5
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Im in Chamonix at the moment. There was a very thick hoar frost on my car the likes of which I don’t think I’ve seen before, it looked like fur. It will be interesting to see how things develop with the fresh snow forecast.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Yes, more impressive hoar here near Chamrousse



it is now snowing on that lot. Stick to well travelled routes on Thursday when the sun comes back where the skiers will have broken up this layer.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@davidof, so pretty, and so deadly.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
davidof wrote:


3 ski tourers, 1 in serious conditions, others lightly injured
snow slab under the Corne de Boeufs
2700 m altitude
Avalanche beacons
risk 3/5


The skier died later in hospital.

A missing French climber found dead under an avalanche on Saturday on the Glattwang in Switzerland.

Buried under 3 meters of snow.

On Christmas day a group of five ski tourers were climbing on the Hofathorn (2 844 mètres) near the Belalp ski area in the Valais. A 39 year old local was fatally injured by a slide.

http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/suisse-un-alpiniste-francais-emporte-par-une-avalanche-25-12-2017-7470603.php

and

https://www.slf.ch/de/lawinen/unfaelle-und-schadenlawinen/aktuelle-lawinenunfaelle.html
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The fatalities just keep coming, it is so sad to read!
The participants in all these cases are almost certainly seasoned and experienced mountain folk. I wish I could find the answer.......that said, I've been reading Bruce Tremper who clearly states it is a complex puzzle!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
More weak layer triggering from Alain Duclos


http://youtube.com/v/7s5VRDmu9nQ

His two main points are that if a weak layer is widespread than a single skier can trigger a whole slope and to avoid areas where the snow depth is thinner as it is easier to trigger a weak layer at this point (roll overs, visible ground features like grass etc).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Laser mapping looks promising .....


http://youtube.com/v/Exj3h-g8atk
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Meteo France has issued an avalanche warning for the Isere and Hautes-Alpes departments. Warning of windslab, especially on south faces, capable of being triggered by a single skier even at quite low altitudes.


The Isere prefecture has advised against off piste activities on Thursday.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 27-12-17 18:33; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Wet avalanche from 2014


http://youtube.com/v/f5waSw2mMfY
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davidof wrote:


The Isere prefecture has advised against off piste activities on Thursday.


Take care in the Haute-Savoie (and Savoie) where there has been up to 40cm of fresh accompanied by strong winds - the risk 3 is not to be taken lightly.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Avalanche situation similar in Austria

East Austria =

Quote:
Considerable danger of slab avalanches from snowdrifts

Avalanche Danger
Avalanche danger is considerable throughout Styria. As a result of strong to stormy NW winds, and intensive snowfall on Wednesday night, the frequency of avalanche prone locations will swiftly multiply. This applies particularly to entry points of gullies and bowls in N/E/S facing slopes, as well as slopes behind terrain edges. Even the weight of one sole skier is sufficient to release a slab avalanche. The poor visibility makes danger assessments for Thursday difficult. In steep, rocky terrain, naturally triggered loose-snow avalanches can be expected.

Snow Layering
The old snowpack has settled well over the last few days. It has widespread melt-freeze crusts and is icy in places. Only at low altitudes is the old snowpack moist. Atop this surface the fresh snowdrifts have been deposited. It is expected that 2 potential weak layers threaten security for backcountry skiers: a soft layer of snowdrift, due to gusty winds which generated layers of varying hardness inside the snowpack; in transitions to the old snowpack, where the bonding of fresh snowdrift to the smooth old snowpack surface is insufficient.

Alpine Weather Forecast
On Wednesday evening the foehn will collapse and snowfall will set in. Particularly in the latter part of the night, intensive snowfall is anticipated. Between Turrach and Wechsel, up to 40 cm of fresh snow is expected in the next 24 hours. The snowfall level will be at 1000 m to start with, then descend swiftly down to low lying areas. On Thursday, snowfall will persist in the northern barrier cloud regions in particular. The temperature at 2000 m will be at -7 degrees. Winds will be blowing at storm-strength from the northwest. On Friday, weather conditions will quiet and winds will taper off.

Short Term Development
Considerable avalanche danger will persist.

The next avalanche bulletin will be published on Thursday at about 6:00 pm.
Arnold Studeregger
Translated by Jeffrey McCabe, www.creativtrans.com


http://www.lawine-steiermark.at/lagebericht/avalanche-bulletin


West Austria =

Quote:

WHY? - Danger patterns (dp):
dp.6 - Loose snow and wind
dp.1 - Deep persistent weak layer
dp.2 - Gliding snow
Considerable avalanche danger widespread. Beware fresh snowdrifts.
Avalanche Danger
Avalanche danger in Tirol’s backcountry touring regions has increased again, it is now considerable (upper notch of this level) over widespread areas. The major danger stems from fresh snowdrift accumulations: they are poorly bonded with the old snowpack and can be triggered by minimum additional loading. Avalanche prone locations are found on steep slopes and ridgeline terrain in all aspects above 1800 m. Frequency and spread of danger zones tend to increase with ascending altitude. If avalanches fracture down into the old snowpack, they can grow to dangerous size. At low and intermediate altitudes, gliding avalanches can still trigger naturally on steep, grass-covered slopes.

Snow Layering
During the last 24 hours there has been widespread snowfall in North and East Tirol, most of which fell on the Stubai part of the Main Ridge and Carnic Alps (50-70 cm). On the Tauern Ridge there was 30-50 cm; in the other parts of the Main Ridge 20-30 cm. Further north there was 10-15 cm of fresh snow registered. Winds shifted to NW during the night, were blowing mostly above transport velocity. Thus, the loosely-packed fresh snow was immediately transported, generating new snowdrift accumulations. The drifts are poorly bonded with the old snowpack surface, making them prone to triggering. In the inneralpine touring regions, along the Main Alpine Ridge and in East Tirol, the old snow problem requires heed above 2200 m: there are thin layers of faceted snow crystals beneath hardened crusts.
Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG-Weather Service Innsbruck)
Weather: The perturbance which is connected to a low over Italy is losing its strength on the southern flank of the Alps, since the air current is shifting to NW, which will transfer the bulk of the barrier clouds to the northern flank of the Alps. On Friday, an intermediate high will make itself felt. On Saturday, a warm front will bring renewed precipitation. Mountain weather today: significantly colder, snowfall also on the East Tirolean Tauern Ridge. In southern East Tirol the snowfall will come to an end, but not much sunshine is anticipated due to heavy cloud cover. Temperature at 2000 m: -10 degrees; at 3000 m: -17 degrees. Brisk NW winds, stronger over the Main Ridge.
Tendency
Considerable avalanche danger due to fresh drifts.
[Author: Rudi Mair]
[Translated by Jeffrey McCabe]


https://lawine.tirol.gv.at/en/home/bulletin/
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davidof wrote:
Meteo France has issued an avalanche warning for the Isere and Hautes-Alpes departments. Warning of windslab, especially on south faces, capable of being triggered by a single skier even at quite low altitudes.


The Isere prefecture has advised against off piste activities on Thursday.


Not surprised, just stopped snowing after 24 hours. Lots of blasting and lifts slowly opening. Hopefully they will have left enough powder on some pistes for some fun Very Happy
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Avalanche alert for the Pyrenees tomorrow. The following department are at risk 4: Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne as well as the Couserans mountain range and the Haute-Ariège where there has been up to 1 meter of snow over the last 48 hours. Roads and ski resorts are affected. The French president, holidaying in la Mongie was unable to ski yesterday.

Forecasters are worried about a rapid thaw forecast for tomorrow and the weekend.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Calling a 4/5 for tomorrow in Aosta.
http://appweb.regione.vda.it/dbweb/bollnivometeo/bollnivometeo.nsf/vista_i/$first?OpenDocument&L=_e&

And Chamonix and all of the Haute Savoie

http://www.meteofrance.com/previsions-meteo-montagne/bulletin-avalanches/haute-savoie/avdept74
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Henry of Henry’s avalanche talk just tweeted this.

“40-60 cm or more of fresh #snow in most of the #Alps over the last 14hrs. Looks like it will continue for most of the next 5 days with a short clearing spell tomorrow/Sunday. #Avalanche danger rating will go up to 5 ‘Extreme’ (the highest rating) surely in the next 24-48hrs”
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One dead, one severly injured in an avalanche in Austrian Hohe Tauern region...They were a part of a group of five skiing offpiste, when they triggered an avalanche.

http://www.rtvslo.si/radio-si/news/slowenische-tourenfahrer-von-lawinen-erfasst/441763
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http://www.henrysavalanchetalk.com/savoie-avalanche-bulletin-30th-december-2017/

Henry’s translation of the latest Savoie météo France report.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Chamonix guides company has issued a warning (another!)

Quote:

The weather has not stopped being difficult with fresh snow and high winds at altitude following each other. The amount of snowfall is significant over the last few days (150cm) at 2000m and there is now a thaw.

We appeal for prudence, the conditions are unusual. Know how to analyze the situation. Ask a professional if your knowledge is not sufficient. Read the avalanche bulletin, ask the pisteurs, guides etc. Make sure you have avalanche rescue gear.

If you are in the woods watch out for falling trees and branches under the weight of fresh snow.

Remember that outside of the opening hours ski pistes should be avoided as there is avalanche control work and piste preparation.

The ski touring trails, apart from at les Houches, are closed at the moment due to the avalanche risk.


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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Mairies of Sixt-f.a.c and Morillon have issued blanket bans on skiing off piste in their domaines until at least the 3rd ...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
There's been a large avalanche at Porta in the French Pyrenees near the Pic Pédros. Search ongoing, 4 people caught and rescued.

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lugaresdenieve.com%2F%3Fq%3Des%2Fnoticia%2Fesquiadores-catalanes-esquivan-alud-cerdanya-francesa-porte&edit-text=

https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&sp=nmt4&tl=en&u=http://www.lindependant.fr/2017/12/30/porta-66-plusieurs-personnes-ensevelies-suite-a-une-avalanche,3084021.php&usg=ALkJrhia52UPSzF2QUn6AnY70AArT7P0fQ


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Sun 31-12-17 18:07; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:

Some sound advice. Translation, don’t do it.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Sadly a ski tourer was killed by an avalanche up on Col de Fours in Val D'Isere today:

http://www.ledauphine.com/savoie/2017/12/30/avalanche-mortelle-a-val-d-isere
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Short term it’s grim, however longer term I’m hoping that the rain will have settled everything up to 2200m especially when it all freezes again. Above that the thickness and weight of all the new snow in one deep layer once it’s stuffed off steeper slopes may well turn out to be stable. I do think high north slopes will remain problematic with the buried weak layer. However a worrying factor for me has been the strength of the wind high up over the past few days. All that said I don’t try and second guess the professionals and I’ll be keeping a close eye on the reports.

In the mean time great care is called for, one of my red flags is the first good day after heavy snow, and that could be tomorrow!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Short term it’s grim, however longer term I’m hoping that the rain will have settled everything up to 2200m especially when it all freezes again. Above that the thickness and weight of all the new snow in one deep layer once it’s stuffed off steeper slopes may well turn out to be stable. I do think high north slopes will remain problematic with the buried weak layer. However a worrying factor for me has been the strength of the wind high up over the past few days. All that said I don’t try and second guess the professionals and I’ll be keeping a close eye on the reports.

In the mean time great care is called for, one of my red flags is the first good day after heavy snow, and that could be tomorrow!
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As mentioned above the mayor of Morrilon banned off piste skiing for a few days over New Year however the danger was closer to home, a young skier was killed on the Marvel piste today by a falling tree.

A large avalanche has crossed the Fornet road in Val d'Isere



and Val d'Isere is on partial lockdown due to the avalanche risk in town.

The avalanche risk remains HIGH across the French Alps this afternoon as Eleanor rips through. It should probably be 5 in some areas.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
In Switzerland 3 avalanches have caught a dozen ski tourers and snowshoers with one death in the Hohtürli sector. Another snowshoer was seriously injured in the Grisons, a 35 year old German woman buried under 50cm of snow near the Maighels hut, his companion gave the alert and also suffered a broken leg.

https://www.letemps.ch/suisse/2018/01/02/avalanches-un-mort-nombreux-randonneurs-secourus-suisse

and in the Savoie a young woman was badly injured by an avalanche triggered by another group at Termingon.

https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/auvergne-rhone-alpes/savoie/jeune-femme-blessee-avalanche-termignon-savoie-1394091.html
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I don’t remember seeing it as bad as this. I guess all the uplift will be closed. As the 5/5 is at altitude hopefully it won’t affect roads and buildings!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
jbob wrote:
I don’t remember seeing it as bad as this. I guess all the uplift will be closed. As the 5/5 is at altitude hopefully it won’t affect roads and buildings!



http://youtube.com/v/rblt2EtFfC4
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Feckin huge impressive avalanche in La Grave from La Meije - could not work out how to upload it as as a separate vid - best to share it it on my FB page - well worth a watch

Hang on this is a better link https://www.facebook.com/ecrin.skier/videos/1700005396920630/
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@davidof, I guess that’s a ref to Montroc. I saw the aftermath and was shocked.
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Horrific news from Sud Tirol, where an 11 year German girl and her mother were killed in an avalanche, buried almost on top of each other. The father was an eye witness and the one to call for help.

http://www.tageszeitung.it/2018/01/03/lawinenabgang-auf-haider-alm/

The operations manager for the rescue team involved was openly critical (google translate):

"The nine Germans, who were equipped with racing skis and helmets, have become increasingly negligent. They would have moved further and further away from the piste."

The slide was 150m wide and ran for 300m, with visibility around 50m at the time. 4 people were initially caught in it (group of 9). Due to the conditions the rescue team had to skitour up to the site as the helicopter could not get in, which took an hour.

RIP Crying or Very sad
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