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Too scared to ski

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

To be specific, too scared to leave the trail. Switzerland has had heaps of snow, and more is forecast but there's a problem, more than just your simple avalanche problem.

 

1. Not a drop of snow until late december, then 8 feet in one week.

2. Regular snowfalls continue.

3. It's been getting warm, very warm at times, even up to high altitudes.

 

The result is, I've seen some 4 foot deep slab avalanches, in places I've never seen before. My friends have posted lots of pics of facebook of avalanches, in areas I know very well, and it's just terrifying. With such variations in temperature occurring on a daily basis, I imagine even the most experienced patroller must be struggling to predict what's a risk and what is not.

 

There's another 30cm due on thursday, and it's supposed to stay cold for at least a week after that, but it's the 3-4 feet of base under that, that's a concern. Plus it's sitting on dry grass, well, by that, I mean, a huge snowfall on bare earth. There was no buildup of layers.

 

Anyway, gonna stick to the trail and the bump runs. Haven't heard of an avalanche occuring on a bump run. Probably do some off piste around Avoriaz in Portes du Soleil, it's usually a huge bump run.

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingaround View Post

To be specific, too scared to leave the trail. Switzerland has had heaps of snow, and more is forecast but there's a problem, more than just your simple avalanche problem.

 

1. Not a drop of snow until late december, then 8 feet in one week.

2. Regular snowfalls continue.

3. It's been getting warm, very warm at times, even up to high altitudes.

 

The result is, I've seen some 4 foot deep slab avalanches, in places I've never seen before. My friends have posted lots of pics of facebook of avalanches, in areas I know very well, and it's just terrifying. With such variations in temperature occurring on a daily basis, I imagine even the most experienced patroller must be struggling to predict what's a risk and what is not.

 

There's another 30cm due on thursday, and it's supposed to stay cold for at least a week after that, but it's the 3-4 feet of base under that, that's a concern. Plus it's sitting on dry grass, well, by that, I mean, a huge snowfall on bare earth. There was no buildup of layers.

 

Anyway, gonna stick to the trail and the bump runs. Haven't heard of an avalanche occuring on a bump run. Probably do some off piste around Avoriaz in Portes du Soleil, it's usually a huge bump run.


Pallavicini at Arapahoe Basin slid a couple years ago.  http://avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_co.php?accident=20050520

 

What you're describing sounds scary as hell.  Stay safe!

 

Edit:  I should say I have no idea what conditions were like on Palli's at the time.  I just know everytime I've seen Palli's (which isn't that often as I live 2000 miles from it) it's a bump run.

 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

i won't be going anywhere not patrolled, although I do realise this doesn't mean it's perfectly safe. I think in the years to come, with the irregular temps, we're going to see more dangerous conditions than normal.

 

I don't know if anyone knows glacier 3000 in diablerets, glacier3000.ch but it's had so much snow, but is having the worst season I've know in 10 years. The slopes beneath the glacier haven't been opened yet this winter, and I think it's got so much snow, and they just can't make it safe, no matter how much control work they do. I don't actually know this for sure, but it's my best guess.

post #4 of 7

Tons of snow in a short period of time and rising temperatures.  I'm no avy expert, but yeah, that sounds pretty dangerous.

post #5 of 7

Was actually just over in Villars (next town over from Diablerets).  Blizzard one day, rain the next.  Snowpack is crazy right now over there, posted avalanche risk was "high" or "very high" the whole time.

 

It's gonna be a mess until they get some more consistent low temps and steady snowfall.

post #6 of 7

Take an Avalanche Level 1 class to better familiarize yourself with questionably unsafe conditions, should help

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post


Pallavicini at Arapahoe Basin slid a couple years ago.  http://avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_co.php?accident=20050520

 

What you're describing sounds scary as hell.  Stay safe!

 

Edit:  I should say I have no idea what conditions were like on Palli's at the time.  I just know everytime I've seen Palli's (which isn't that often as I live 2000 miles from it) it's a bump run.

 


The Pali slide was very different than the current conditions in the Alps from what I understand- late season with warm temps and no refreeze overnight leading to a wet slide.  Not sure if it was in a bumped out area or not, but a friend who skied it the day before thought it should have been closed for the season.  

 

The recent Jackson Hole sidecountry video Bob Peters posted shows more of the current danger in the Alps.

 

As a side note, I have noticed on the French News them giving the avy risk (5 most places the last time I saw it).  I am not talking about a story about someone getting caught, but a map showing the risk level as part of the weather news on a major national network.  Has anyone every seen Willard Scott do that? 

 

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