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This past week end : Avalanches in Northern Italy

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Well, let me trace back a little, on Wednesday, exploiting a respiten in the bad weather I went skiing.

I had steam to blow off, so it was all good.

Talking to friends and colleagues the next days, I was "offered" to go skiing in the week end...

I politely refused, suspecting a fresh wave of bad weather and snowfalls.

Sunday the forecast was good weather and high temp...again, I felt prudent not to go to ski and give the new snow some time to settle...Bad reports about avalanches started to come in on Friday night and continued throughout the whole week end...

Villages in the mountains were isolated by avalanches falling and hitting the access roads, amongst these theres' Madesimo, home to Mr. Prickly. BTW has anyone "heard" from him?

Still reports about access roads to Madesimo (there are two) were a bit too "hyperbolic" to make me think of anything too bad. Also, Madesimo can be accessed by an underground tram from the village below, so, if the isolation would have been prolonges, I'd assume that popel could have been evacuated by that mean (living all but the strictly necessary in their mountain homes).

Other villages were isolated, Foppolo, Monte Campione amongst those.

It's been a long time since avalanches isolated villages here, for the main reason that it is not snowing enough. But this year it did.


Roaming in another ski related site (italian) I've found the link to this video, where an avalanche fell while the newspeople were interviewing the village mayor...(those familiar with Italian language may not understand what people is saying because a dialect is being used)




Another video, the same area but different village :


This is in the neighborough region (Piedmont) village of Macugnaga (also near  the freeskiing resort of



This picture has been taken from an online version of a newspaper


(full reporti, in Italian, here : http://www.giornaledibrescia.it/Contenuti/484484.html?idnews=4250 )


Also, here, http://www.laprovinciadisondrio.it/ you'll see a lot of pictures and reportages of the disasters which happened  (Madesimo is quoted as being accessible again)


The accidents count (death toll and near miss) has been particularly high...


post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

A guy who witnessed an avalanche on Mount Grigna (above the town of Lecco) and called in the

SAR, just in case


And his recount on a mountaineering site (Italian language  and a lot of 4 letters words in the comments)



post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Moved into the Euro-zone of interest...

post #4 of 5

It's quite interesting taking groups around Courmayeur. The first time you get to take them to explore a bit (about half way through the week) and you ski around to Zerotta, you get a good opportunity to talk to them about avalanches, particularly big ones, and point out the tell tale signs that there had been a major one there recently - such as the thinning out of trees down one particular route, and then look at the defences they have put up to defend the small village against any further occurances. I do feel for the guy that owns the small house just beyond the end of the defensive wall...

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

For those able to read Italian...another forum, another video.

This one shot by the guy who was actually hit by the avalanche



And the same video on Youtube

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