Posted on: 2016-02-13 00:53:12 by davidof

Avalanche warning for the French Alps 13-14th February 2016

Both the Prefectures and Meteo France have issued avalanche warnings for the French Alps. Meteo France warns of a "high probability of spontaneous avalanches this weekend." The risk is 4/5 across the Haute-Savoie and locally in the Savoie, Isere, Hautes-Alpes and Haut-Var and Haut Verdon. Some sectors have seen close to a meter of fresh snow, accompanied by storm force winds, over the last 4 days.

"For the end of the week (Meteo France) reccommends great care in any mountain activity outside of any open and marked trails. Across the Alps, and in particular n the interior ranges of the Haute-Savoie, Savoie, Isere and in the North of the Hautes-Alpes as well as the Haut-Var/Haut-Verdon, the avalanche risk is HIGH (4/5).

The main risk for backcountry enthusiasts is triggering a slab avalanche in the recent snow on all slope aspects. The recent snowfall has been accompanied or followed by wind which have formed, and will continue to form, new snow slabs which look like powder and are difficult to spot, as well as hard slabs on wind exposed slopes.

On certain slopes, over a wide north sector from 2000 to 2400 meters, depending on the mountain range, a surface slide could trigger weaker sub layers to ground levels and over a wide area. This very unstable snowpack will be in place from Friday evening and will last all weekend."

The Isere prefecture has advised skiers to stick to open ski runs and that there is a real danger.