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Avalanche prediction could become simpler and surer

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Predicting avalanches, and avoiding them on a local level, is a science that involves everything from tracking snow storms by satellite, to measuring wind deposition and temperatures around the mountains.

Ski guides and off-piste skiers have to make critical decisions about slope safety, traditionally by cutting a snow profile to study the security of the snow pack, looking for any tell-signs of weakness under the surface. It's a laborious exercise, involving digging a pit.

This Australian invention, reported by Sydney Morning Herald, involves a lightweight 5m probe which takes electronic measurements of the snow's weakness and temperature. It's the work of a team led by Warwick Peyton, a Sydney scientist, who is now looking for development opportunities.

The device was recently shown at the International Symposium on Snow Monitoring and Avalanches in India.
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I have a mate who's girlfriend works at the Swiss snow research place at Davos and he's also mates with a bloke in the Swiss army (the mountain lot). They reckoned that these days there's less emphasis placed in the profiles as the snow conditions can vary so much, in such a short space of time, that a profile in one place is of no use a short distance away, so the effort is not really worth it.

This invention may bring them back into more widespread use (if indeed, the people on the mountain have stopped using them).
snow report     
 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?
Deborah Smith, Science Editor wrote:
The five-metre long device, which weighs 1.2 kilograms, could be carried in a backpack
David, anything that helps is a good idea, but if you put 5 metres of probe in your backpack, I'm not sure if that leaves room for your shovel, body probe, foil blanket, spare gloves, lunch, water and milk tray.
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Jonpim it could double up - if you made it of chocolate with a hollow center it could be rations, hip flask, body probe and a very bad shovel.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Any telemarkers could use it instead of their pole.
snow conditions     



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