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2020/2021 Avalanche Information

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
brianatab wrote:
From a safety point of view, wouldn't it be best if most of the weak layers failed in the next few days, (whilst the warnings are 5/5, and nobody ought to be in those areas)?


where are the warnings 5/5 ?

It was 3 in the Galibier sector.

2 in the Chartreuse today below 1800 and we heard at least 3 purges into avalanche couloirs around 11am and there was an avalanche on a popular ski touring route near where we were.

The only 5/5 was on Friday in the Haute-Tarentaise, Haute-Maurienne and Vanoise. I don't know about Switzerland.

We had high altitude rain last week, we'll get some more to mid altitudes tomorrow so that should stabilize things below 2000 meters or so. As for higher altitudes failing, you'd have to have a mechanism in place for that to happen: perhaps the snow-pack getting overloaded due to fresh snow, avalanche control etc but it would be most unlikely to clear out all the weak layers. Even when resorts are open they have trouble controlling all the slopes.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Claude B wrote:
Not on the same scale but came upon this today. Apparently from yesterday.



davidof wrote:
Avalanche in the Petit Galibier West today


http://youtube.com/v/B6roTZu7z4Q

A skier was killed on the valley behind earlier in the winter and a Grenoble man was killed in a slide in Pic Blanc du Galibier sector at 1pm. Reports of remotely triggered avalanches going off all over the area.


Usually in a normal season by now I would have probably clocked up 15+ sorties in the Galibier sector, but I've resigned myself to not going up there just yet.

There have just been too many BIG slides coming off ridges and faces that you'd not normally expect, and even if taking and skiing a mellow line or sticking to a spine as per @Claude B's photo, though as ever you can't see how steep it was, the volume of snow is travelling down into safe zones.

Few pages back just look at that slide that the snow-kiter escaped from, so it was the one earlier in the season along from that which killed the guide, then that one, and then, unfortunately, yesterday the guy on Pic Blanc and the one in the video for me just reinforces my decision to keep away, and not ski-tour where there is anything above me that might go.

Yesterday was a beautiful day as you can see in that video which was filmed from Petit Galibier looking towards Pic Blanc, and that face went about 6 six years ago killing one or two, it was the start of the very bad season when the CAF were caught up in a few tragic incidents.



And the one in the snow-kiter incident



And like I say, yesterday was a beautiful day and my friends who came over from LG said everywhere was rammed full of Grenoblois, and you just don't know even if taking a safe route if there's some idiot above you with summit fever traversing and cutting along one of the ridges, as the huge numbers of people out ski-touring up there will increase the chances of the muppet factor.

It is a shame but better to play safe and try and live for another day.
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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?
Confirmation that the massive slides at Karellis were man induced.
Also a very useful commentary on the slides on the nearby Pointe D'Emy, normally considered a farily safe route suitable for an intro to touring.

"Cassures en série sur toute la rive G du vallon qui monte au col d' Emy sous la pointe d'Emy, datant problèment de la veille ou avant veille (29-30/01).
Très pédagogiquement les cassures se superposent de manière systématique et ubiquitaire aux pentes à plus de 30°.
Emportent le manteau jusqu'au terrain (en moyenne un gros 150cm). A la coupe, couche fragile de 20cm qui repose directement sur le terrain.
Les écoulements descendent assez bas jusque vers de faibles pentes et coupent les itinéraires classiques.
A noter que la rive D du vallon avait aussi massivement coulé (Sallanches, Paroi du Midi, Grande Chible) mais sans doute 1 ou 2 jours plus tôt.
PIDA en cours le 31 au matin sur les Karrelis avec tirs positifs de visu au S W de la pointe des Chaudannes."

Tried to post the photo but the Hamsters are just showing me "Uploaded..... Preparing Image" which I take to be Hamster-speak for "this isn't working at the moment".



Ahah! Photo loads fine once the apostophe removed from file name.......


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Mon 1-02-21 17:52; edited 1 time in total
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Quote:

Tried to post the photo but the Hamsters are just showing me "Uploaded..... Preparing Image"

I had this but have since tried drag and drop rather than clicking on post image , and this seems to work ok wink
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
snowheid wrote:
Quote:

Tried to post the photo but the Hamsters are just showing me "Uploaded..... Preparing Image"

I had this but have since tried drag and drop rather than clicking on post image , and this seems to work ok wink

Thanks Mark. I'll try that next time. Little Angel
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WOW -----> https://fb.watch/3nQh77TY-6/
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Ed_sec, the image upload failed because of a security rule on the back-end system which objected to the upload content. I'm looking into it...
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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security_hamster wrote:
@Ed_sec, the image upload failed because of a security rule on the back-end system which objected to the upload content. I'm looking into it...

Thanks Security Hamster. I wondered if it didn't like the apostrophe in the file name, other than that it's just a <200 kb .jpg so couldn't see an issue with it. Hope it's quick to sort (for your sake mainly Smile )
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Ah - that'll do it, thanks for the extra info. The apostrophe would indeed be the reason, as the error message logged means "Invalid quoting". Another one for @admin's list of things to be fixed or prevented...
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security_hamster wrote:
Ah - that'll do it, thanks for the extra info. The apostrophe would indeed be the reason, as the error message logged means "Invalid quoting". Another one for @admin's list of things to be fixed or prevented...

Thanks. I won't use strange foreign hill names in future wink
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Not an Avy related death, but snow immersion due to the deep snow that Mammoth received over a 72 hour period. About 3 meters worth.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/skier-dies-after-being-found-buried-upside-down-in-snow/ar-BB1dfvpP?ocid=mailsignout&li=BBnbfcL

More storms incoming for the Sierra's so there will be more avy danger this week.

Utah also received over a meter of snow in the past few days last weekend. These two were fortunate to have survived.

https://gephardtdaily.com/local/salt-lake-county-sar-rescues-2-skiers-caught-in-avalanche-in-millcreek/

This skier, sadly, did not survive.

https://snowbrains.com/avalanche-fatality-in-park-city-ski-resort-sidecountry-today/

There were two reported skier triggered avalanches last Friday at Sun Valley with no fatalities. And a third that involved a fatality. They received a meter and a half of snow in a 72 hour period. Ski patrol shut down the mountain after the two slides occurred.

https://www.mtexpress.com/news/breaking_news/sun-valley-shuts-baldy/article_31fcbb76-6278-11eb-81f6-6f791fa0e1f0.html

https://www.idahostatesman.com/outdoors/article248886759.html
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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.
PIDA work at Karellis again. For any snowhead who's enjoyed this slope in previous years (and I can think of a few), let hope this doesn't happen next time we're on it!

http://youtube.com/v/0xW4gZECIKA
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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
And a bit more info on the one on the Casse Massion side too (the one my original photo was of).
https://www.ledauphine.com/environnement/2021/02/01/les-karellis-un-pylone-de-teleski-arrache-par-une-coulee
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Xavier De Le Rue wrote:
I don't remember a winter where the avalanche risk was so high and especially so unpredictable.
The scariest part is the size of the slides and how they propagate to such a huge scale and on all aspects even though it has slid or been skied over and over before…
Yesterday - Avalanche Risk 4, at around 3.30pm you can see the huge slide that released in the Attelas couloirs. This zone is skied a lot and there were many tracks in it. - photo #2 - and it still went. I think that this is almost the biggest trap at moment, as more than ever a tracked out run does NOT mean it is safe to ride.
At 4pm another slide released on Creblais, which gathered a huge quantity of snow, this is an area that is skied regularly and if anyone had been below, I can only imagine the worst.
And the list continues, you can see all those huge slides all in the same day in the verbier area, and all of them on normal Freeride itineraries...
If you are lucky enough to be enjoying the lift access, please be extra cautious and even if you are “staying safe” be aware of what is above you, what could release at any moment, think everything is going to go… because at the moment it really can.
Thank you and huge respect to the Verbier Ski Patrol right now.


I originally intended to post a question regarding the interpretation of the above but the facebook link seems to have messed the formatting and lost it


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Wed 3-02-21 13:33; 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:
https://fb.watch/3qi0JlFWyd/

Avalanche control in Val d'annivers.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Lots of blasting here again today. But as I was walking, Mont de Lans end, about 1800m I could here a lot of rumblings in the distance. Coming from across the valley probably, didn't hear any explosions though.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yes. It's level 3 here today but large slides to be seen on all mountains and all aspects. I went up a fairly obscure local route I thought should be manageable and on which I could turn back at any point. Unusually there was a good track to follow. At 2550 I finally caught up with the group who'd made it (only because they're stopped). Turned out to be a PGHM training exercise so I listened in while the resident expert explained his snow pit. Most instructive with my key takeaways being that the original low level weak layer is still alive and well down there somewhere and the are now at least two other very fluffy insubstantial layers in the pack above it. The wind blown lip of the flat they'd stopped at was whoomphing and cracks had appeared in it but it didn't slide. Their advice was that this was far enough and I was very happy to take it!

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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?
Good YouTube live Q&A session from Xavier de le Rue last evening.

http://youtube.com/v/qAFXcY7igKA

Another session organized on Friday will be worth tuning into for

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https://www.altitudeskischool.com/avalanche-safety/
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@Ed_sec, I was doing a little tour in Chamonix a few years back. We were breaking trail and feeling slightly nervous. We stopped for a rest and were caught up by a PGHM training group which made me feel much better. We carried on ahead of them skinning over a frozen lake. When they set off they took quite a detour to skirt the lake..
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@BobinCH Thanks, all good stuff. Interesting he says the old facetted layer in Verbier is 'only' 70cms. I'm pretty sure around here it's often a good bit thinner so an even steeper temp gradient. Not reassuring.
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Ed_sec wrote:
@BobinCH Thanks, all good stuff. Interesting he says the old facetted layer in Verbier is 'only' 70cms. I'm pretty sure around here it's often a good bit thinner so an even steeper temp gradient. Not reassuring.


In winters with a strong anticyclone eventually the whole snowpack turns to facets. In the Alps you often see this by the end of January. You can have rock hard crust, terrible conditions, ruts everywhere then, with no new snow you come back a week or so later and it is powder everywhere (the americans call it "loud powder" as the big crystals make a swooshing sound as you ski through). What happened? Well the snowpack full transformed into facet type crystals and you now have stable conditions as a homogenous weak layer is safe to ski - until the next wind or snow cycle.

Xavier De Le Rue wrote:

I don't remember a winter where the avalanche risk was so high and especially so unpredictable.


Is he talking about specifically Verbier or generally for the Alps? The last 2 or 3 years have seen relatively stable conditions but certainly 2005/6 was extremely unstable in the French Alps and I think the same for CH too.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Sun 7-02-21 18:49; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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davidof wrote:
Ed_sec wrote:
@BobinCH Thanks, all good stuff. Interesting he says the old facetted layer in Verbier is 'only' 70cms. I'm pretty sure around here it's often a good bit thinner so an even steeper temp gradient. Not reassuring.


In winters with a strong anticyclone eventually the whole snowpack turns to facets. In the Alps you often see this by the end of January. You can have rock hard crust, terrible conditions, ruts everywhere then, with no new snow you come back a week or so later and it is powder everywhere (the americans call it "loud powder" as the big crystals make a swooshing sound as you ski through). What happened? Well the snowpack full transformed into facet type crystals and you now have stable conditions as a heterogeneous weak layer is safe to ski - until the next wind or snow cycle.

Xavier De Le Rue wrote:

I don't remember a winter where the avalanche risk was so high and especially so unpredictable.


Is he talking about specifically Verbier or generally for the Alps? The last 2 or 3 years have seen relatively stable conditions but certainly 2005/6 was extremely unstable in the French Alps and I think the same for CH too.

True, though in this case of course more snow did eventually arrive to cover the stuff that might otherwise have been used as 'Loud Snow'. Actually, thinking about it a bit more, I guess if the high hangs around long enough to totally facet a layer of snow it's going to end up in the same state no matter how thick or thin it is. In that case a thin problem layer might be preferable to a thick one but neither is ideal. Sad
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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!
Another tragedy in Utah on Saturday. 8 caught in massive avalanche and 4 dead. Another avalanche that caught several snowmobilers as well, with no fatalities. Several victims buried partially.

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/4-skiers-dead-avalanche-utahs-013800365.html
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This was a massive incident apparently resulting from a glacier breaking up. It's not exactly a ski avalanche but puts things in perspective.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/07/150-feared-dead-as-glacier-crashes-into-dam-in-northern-india
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3 Climbers killed in Avalanche near Anchorage, AK.


https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/2021/02/06/avalanche-carried-three-men-down-steep-gully-tuesday-and-killed-them-report-says/

Last week was one of the deadliest weeks in North America with 15 avalanche fatalities. There has been so much snow falling in so many different mountain ranges the past 7-10 days.

More details and backgrounds of the 4 killed in the Millcreek, UT avalanche. Very sad and my heart goes out to the families and friends.

https://www.deseret.com/utah/2021/2/7/22271152/police-identify-4-skiers-killed-in-avalanche-in-salt-lake-mountains
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T'avalanche warning for.... Yorkshire, https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/weather/more-snow-yorkshire-and-avalanche-risk-weather-warning-extended-three-days-met-office-forecast-3124263
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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.
BASI are running an avalanche awareness course tomorrow night: https://blog.basi.org.uk/AAwithbasi/?fbclid=IwAR2970OkT-c9nhWE1OwJrwDWj1bZhB_eCLfZMQ6fBOig_L1TV2q9peIhReU
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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
A slide today caused by the sand layer on a slope in Bel Oiseau (near Emosson)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
BobinCH wrote:
A slide today caused by the sand layer on a slope in Bel Oiseau (near Emosson)

Wow. How did the sand layer contribute to the slide? Did it snow again since the sand fell?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Another fatal avalanche this time at Sestriere. One of the victims a well regarded high altitude climber, well known for descending some of those peaks on skis. RIP.

https://www.ledauphine.com/faits-divers-justice/2021/02/09/carlo-alberto-cimenti-celebre-alpiniste-italien-meurt-dans-une-avalanche
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 Poster: A snowHead
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A good video here

https://fb.watch/3zCo4gaDda/
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just had a WhatsApp from La Grave and at 05:00 this morning the whole Tabuchet glacier. avalanched down to the river which is now cut off. The whole La Grave village was sprayed from the air blast, and area is full of cloud and snow!

He sent some good photos but have a tour to do, laters......
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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?
@Weathercam, Shocked
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Joe Vallone has put some photos on FB. Enormous.
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This image pretty well sums it up - with all the debris across the river !!!!!

Note how many a tree has been blown down by the air blast, in fact, surprised those cabins are still standing!

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Shocked Wow. That's crazy. Scary stuff.... good photo though.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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YouTube video of part of the avalanche and the snow debris aftermath in the village:
http://youtube.com/v/yFm7Ev6KxNI
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@Alastair Pink, there's a bit of fake news in there as the footage of the avalanche is an old video when a chunk of the glacier fell off, plus it occurred at 05:00 Laughing
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https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/provence-alpes-cote-d-azur/hautes-alpes/hautes-alpes-une-importante-avalanche-pres-du-village-de-la-grave-1951672.html
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Sounds pretty bonkers. TF nobody was hurt.
"C''est très, très impressionnant, on a des hauteurs de 20 mètres en bas, c'est la moitié du glacier du Tabuchet qui est tombée. Avec un souffle extrêmement impressionnant qui a projeté des arbres, des branches, de la neige partout dans le village", a raconté le maire de Briançon Arnaud Murgia. "Je suis devant l'hôtel du Sérac qui est en plein milieu du village. On a pu constater à l'intérieur des chambres des hauteurs de neige de deux/trois mètres de haut".
All that snow presumably came from the Aerosol.
Let's hope the hotel rooms were empty!
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