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Vallorcine Avalanches
Posted: 20 March 2010 10:09 AM  
Total Posts:  53
Joined  2008-12-18

The warm weather has caused several large wet snow slides in Vallorcine. Most notably the posettes couloir “Les Diets” went yesterday afternoon - the PGHM scanned the debris by helicopter and with a dog but luckily nobody seems to have been caught. (The dog handler had to run from a secondary slide). The risk is officially 2 but will probably rise if we get rain tomorrow. Be careful out there!

Posted: 20 March 2010 10:37 AM   [ # 1 ]  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

The conditions put me off touring yesterday. Very little refreeze then June temperatures in the afternoon (it was 24C here in the Isere). La Plagne-BellecĂ´te had the access road cut yesterday after the couloirs of the west face of Mont St Jacques purged. The slide covered the road with 1.5 meters of snow. The pisteurs checked the slide with an avalanche dog and the mountain rescue services also attended the scene by helicopter.

A monster slide has also blocked the col du Lauteret above Serre Chevalier. The slide was 8m! deep and 50 meters wide and ran over 1km. The slide occured at 17h00 between le Casset and le Lauzet. The slide came from the Aiguillette du Lauzet and ended in the river bed of the Guisane.

The rescue service checked the slide for victims with dogs and Recco system. The road will see a partial reopening this morning.

Makes me think the avalanche risk of 3 for the afternoon was a bit low.

Posted: 21 March 2010 11:44 AM   [ # 2 ]  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

A large slide stopped just short of the open ski runs at Saint-Jean Montclar in the Alpes de Haute-Provence yesterday afternoon at around 16h00. There was also a big search of the slide by the rescue services but fortunately it seems noone was caught by the avalanche. These kind of full depth slides are normally fairly slow moving so are not hard to escape (if you have an escape route) and if you are not actually standing on them when they go.

Posted: 21 March 2010 08:18 PM   [ # 3 ]  
Sr. Member
Total Posts:  270
Joined  2008-01-31

by way of contrast ...
just got back from three days meeting a long-time ski partner from Germany in the Albula mountains in southeast Switzerland near the Engadine.

Skied every kind of line, saw almost no avalanche activity. Some not so good snow, but lots of fairly nice snow for skiing—one long run in 30cm of powder on 35 degree slope. Could have skied more slopes like that, but we were busy exploring more different terrain. Main issue for snow quality was wind affect.

We stayed in huts around 2500m (Kesch + Grialetsch). Most of of our skiing was between 2500m and 3200m.

It occurs to me that the great thing about France compared with the eastern Alps is that when the 0-degree isotherm is at 2500m, there still lots more terrain above that. And some refuges that permit staying up there for a weekend or longer.

Problem is that (I guess) they haven’t started plowing the high roads(?)
But the lifts are still running, and some of them sell single-ride tickets.