So as Firechick reports, sad news today in France, our first avalanche fatality
thoughts to his friends and family.
I was in the Belledonne with an FFME Ski Leaders group doing some snow and avalanche exercises. At the Col de Roche Fendue an example of the prevailing winds, rime ice forms into the wind, in this case from the south-east.
The Fresh snow,around 5-10cm, had caused some point avalanches. These had only taken the surface snow
which is a good sign.
A snowpit revealed a crust about 3cm under the surface, which caused some skiers a bit of trouble. Under this was about 10cm of humid but fresh snow sitting on an ice crust (rain?). This is the recent snow that has fallen since Thursday. Under the 0.5-1cm ice crust a further layer of non-consolidated snow, you can see I could put a fist into this. Not sure if the crystals were facetted. There is then a meter of solid snow sitting on top of October’s depth hoar layer firmly bridging this. So while the first meter is pretty stable the upper layers are worth watching. Pit was on a 30 degree NE slope at around 2400 meters.