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Two Morillon pisteurs killed by explosives during avalanche control

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Also posted in the Grand Massif thread.

Very, very sad news, RIP.

https://www.ledauphine.com/haute-savoie/2019/01/13/morillon-grand-massif-deux-pisteurs-tues-par-l-explosion-d-un-engin-de-declenchement-d-avalanche-ski
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Oh no Crying or Very sad
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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?
Indeed very sad news.
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Mentioned by the BBC here (along with 3 German ski tourers killed by an avalanche in Lech). Sad
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Oh no, how dreadful for all involved. They are small tight-knit communities and this will be a heavy blow. I know that sector around Lanche. It has compressed air outlets as well. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/01/13/europe-snow-two-die-french-alps-trying-control-avalanche-three/
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Shocked Sad What they do is inherently dangerous. All skiers owe them a debt of gratitude. RIP. My "morning out" with the pisteurs in Les Saisies demonstrated how very professional, and committed, they are. It's a genuine vocation for some of them. In some of the big resorts lots of pisteurs are seasonal hires, from outside the area. But in Saisies, and no doubt in other smaller places, they are local, and part of close-knit communities.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Pisteur is a job I certainly would not fancy one little bit. Jolly dangerous. I'd enjoy doing most of the job, I'd imagine, but no fun otherwise.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I’ve often wondered about the risks of dynamiting for avalanches...sad to get my answer in this way.
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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
I’ve often wondered about the risks of dynamiting for avalanches...sad to get my answer in this way.


Having worked with explosives in construction, a long time ago admittedly, I would say that 99.99% of the risk is not from the explosive per se but from the effects of not using it properly, ie in construction getting debris flying to far / in the wrong place, in avalanche control setting off a much bigger slide than you wanted etc.
Something has gone seriously wrong here, either in procedure or because something really unexpected happened when they were either about to, or had already, initiated the process.
Really sad for 2 people to lose their lives just doing their job so that others can enjoy themselves safely.
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The pisteur I accompanied had a badge indicating that he was an "Artificier" (?spelling) and he told me he worked as a demolition specialist in summer. There's not a lot of blasting in Saisies but even when there is, they'd obviously not allow members of the public to see how it's done.
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pam w wrote:
The pisteur I accompanied had a badge indicating that he was an "Artificier" (?spelling) and he told me he worked as a demolition specialist in summer.


As an aside, the Royal Navy for more than a century had a crew rank called "Artificer", but this was renamed a few years ago....
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
On a small scale we saw some blasting right outside our apartment window in La Plagne last year. Can’t post a video but I assume it want the ‘full daddy’ that they would use up the mountain. Definitely woke us up though as we’d been slumped on the sofa because most the lifts were closed, the shockwave seemed to make the glass in the window move.
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^Agree. I was a patroller and did avi control work. Biggest risks were more that we got it wrong, I did once and might have relocated the ski patrol building a touch with a slide that went somewhat further than we had anticipated Shocked but in most cases the ignition process is quite controlled and you are nowhere near where you put the charges in or you are dropping them in. This is why the air systems work well in difficult to reach or common areas of problematic buildup. Sounds like a catastrophic issue, which is a massive understatement but hugely unusual.
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You know it makes sense.
@Alastair Pink, I was an apprentice tiff many years ago.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
adithorp wrote:
@Alastair Pink, I was an apprentice tiff many years ago.


And now you would be an ET according to the article. Laughing
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skitow wrote:
adithorp wrote:
@Alastair Pink, I was an apprentice tiff many years ago.


And now you would be an ET according to the article. Laughing


I guess they changed the name as these days they can phone home..... Toofy Grin
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I never tire of the spectacle of watching them beavering away at night, and always feel grateful that they are out there in the cold while I’m sipping wine, just to get things ready for us the next day. Really sorry to hear this.
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