Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland

Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland

Started by Admin in Avalanche Safety - 20 Replies

To Create or Answer a Topic

Latest images on this Topic...

reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Jan-2010

Dave Mac wrote:
admin wrote:Dave, I suspect David means 100 metres by 50 metres x50cm - or 2500 cubic metres.

Dozy me.

Dave Mac wrote:Given a very low coefficient of friction exiting in a hoar layer, and taking into account the force from a snowboarder would not be a static, but a dynamic force, then you might expect avalanche conditions.

But that's a fairly neat description of most avalanches. Hoar layers having about the lowest coefficient of friction but other weak layers having relatively COF's.

Hoar layers of course being formed during cold weather rather then cold weather "stiffening up" the snow as some J2Skiers think.

Edited 1 time. Last update at 08-Jan-2010

Dave Mac
reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Jan-2010

Well clarified, Ise. I might be right in thinking that "Hoar" is a word of Scottish origin.

reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Jan-2010

Local media is now reporting that there was actually three avalanches. At least one of these may have been set off by another group. I just heard this on a radio report, I'll see if I can find any online articles in a little while.

reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Feb-2010

ise wrote:
Admin wrote:
Be careful out there...

...heavy snowfall in recent days have prompted officials to warn of a heightened avalanche risk in the Swiss Alps.

These warnings are going on deaf ears, people on holiday have some bizarre ideas about why and where avalanches occur and how and why snow is unstable.

This slide is at the top of the Orxival drag lift in Grimentz, it's quite small and looks like it was triggered from above by two snowboarders who decided to take a couple of extra turns by walking a few metres up from the lift and then riding down. Neither were equiped, no transceivers, no probes or shovels.

The small slab that detached then hit the piste below, we just arrived as the pisteurs were probing the snow and were ready to assist but they were happy no one had been hit by the slide.

In the final shot you ought to be able to see how badly consolidated the snow is, there seems to be two distinct slabs both of which failed.

None of which is particularly worthy of comment apart from that at the same time as the piste security are probing the snow people are climbing up on the ridge above them and looking over the cornice at the top to the pisteurs below. Simultaneously, about 150m behind us skiers without any equipment are skiing into the Abondance itinerary which was clearly closed. In some bizarre and potentially lethal parody of safe skiing one particular group ski the slope one at time before regrouping below it, the spot they picked would be to within a meter or two the maximally exposed position in the bowl and slides on any the slopes around it would have reached maximum depth exactly where they were stood.

And all day we saw the exact same thing, skiers and boarders without any equipment at all on slopes that were extremely dangerous, moving in groups from 2 or 3 to 7 or 8 only a few meters apart, stopping for a chat in positions of extreme danger or terrain traps.

The avalanche, mentioned by bandit earlier, was in this area someone just told me. The antics of some skiers and boarders in this sub-area have been amazing, this was the same slope I was alarmed about above and the exact same circumstances, people unable to understand the risk of skiing without any equipment and unable to understand the dangers of the slope they were on no matter how close to the marked run it was.

reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Feb-2010

Recent news in Austria is
1. A lot of avalanches and a lot of deaths in recent days;
2. Italy has made it a serious criminal offence to cause and avalanche, which people in South Tirol (Alto Adige - German-speaking area in Italy) / Dolomites are saying practically makes it illegal to go ski touring, as no one can guarantee not to accidentally cause an avalanche;
3. a guy in Switzerland, buried by an avalanche, was pulled out after 17 hours till alive, with hypothermia, and survived. Said to be very unusual!

Topic last updated on 10-February-2010 at 15:21

Not a Member?

FREE Snow Reports by e-mail.

Save on Ski Hire

Save up to 50%

+5% for 4+ Ski Packs

+10% for 10+ Ski Packs

Discount Ski Hire

7th day Free on selected dates

Ski Hire Shops in Verbier, Davos and Grimentz.


Sponsored Links

Forum Listing Key

Unread Post
Hot Topic
Sticky (important)

The views and opinions presented in the J2Ski Forums are solely those of their respective authors and do not represent those of J2Ski Ltd. Objectionable Content may be notified by sending a Private Message to Admin.

J2Ski logo


Snow Reports
by eMail