Warm weather increasing avalanche risks

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

This season we have seen numerous Category 5 avalanche warnings in the Alps. However, things are now down to 2/5 in Chamonix. However, it is worth thinking about the following:

34% of avalanche accidents actually occur at Cat 2.
Warm weather is increasing the risk of slides, particularly on sunny aspects.
Peoples awareness of avalanche risk is heightened by road and lift closures. However these are all fine now, hence awareness is diminishing again.

Two days ago on the Pas de Chevre above Chamonix a large area avalanched, sending debris 150m down the slope. The base was a smooth rock slab, and the West facing slope had been baking in the sun all day. Despite this, people were still skiing close by.

If you want to see something really interesting, why not have a look at this video of an avalanche crossing the piste in the Portes du Soleil in Switzerland two days ago : http://tinyurl.com/6o45bf3

Stay safe folks.....

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