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AVALANCHE SEASON IN THE ALPS
Wednesday April 25, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Warm spring weather plus a deep & unstable snowpack means the avalanche risk rises. Check out our videos of the HUGE slides now happening.

 

 

 

As temperatures warm up and snow cover remains deep in the mountains meteorologists warn of an increased risk of avalanches.

Where the snow is unstable and the risk is high, some are triggered for safety reasons, whereas in other areas they may occur spontaneously.

If you're traveling off piste (in the backcountry), you should be practicing your rescue skills. Be prepared.

Caution is urged as the risk of avalanche increases as temperatures rise.

We highlight below some avalanches that have happened in recent days.

Switzerland - Furkastrasse Road Valais

Sunday 22nd April

The video of the Swiss avalanche captured on Sunday from the helicopter is impressive.

You can hear the Swiss pilot and his companion calling out "Wow! Wow!" as they witness the huge avalanche.

The avalanche was triggered at 4pm on Saturday afternoon for safety reasons as there is still heavy snow cover in the mountains.

The video below shows the avalanche hurtling down the mountain, engulfing the Swiss roads.

It was around 700m wide and spilled on to the Furkastrasse road between Hospental and Realp that is part of the approach to the Furka Pass linking the Swiss cantons of Valais and Uri.

The depth of snow lying on the road was around 7 metres high.

Video Below: Michael Zurfluh/Swiss Helicopter AG

Road clearing operations started immediately.

Drivers could once again use the road to Realp from midday on Sunday.

At 2,429m the Furka Pass remains closed to traffic until it officially opens in the summer.

Operations Manager with the Uri Cantonal road department, Fredi Gisler, was astonished by what he saw.

"A lot of stuff came down. The road was covered up to seven metres deep," he told the Swiss Daily Blick.

France - Bonneval-Sur-Arc

Tuesday 24th April

Looking out of his window on Tuesday afternoon, Dominique Cazenove managed to capture a spectacular avalanche on his mobile phone at Bonneval-sur-Arc.

The avalanche was triggered naturally at the end of the day, and ended up covering part of a ski slope of the Savoyard resort.

Following the avalanche, the rescue services checked the snow for more than two hours to make sure no one was trapped under the snow debris.

Fortunately no skiers were burried and no one else was hurt in the event.

A second slide took place on the same face at Bonneval-sur-Arc but slightly further to the right as shown in the video below.

Following the avalanche, 70 people from the rescue services were mobilised to check the snow debris for casualties - see video below.

 

Italy - Stelvio Pass

Tuesday 24th April

Work has started to make the Stelvio Pass safe for road traffic.

A dramatic avalanche was triggered early on Tuesday morning as the first stage in preparation for the spring and summer traffic that meanders up the never ending zig zag road.

With stage 2 now comes the hard, time consuming task of clearing the road of the avalanche debris.


See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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