Avalanche Warning

The weather system over the course of Monday dumped 20 to 40cm of fresh snow at 2000m, 40 to 60cm at 2500m but with accumulations of snow due to the wind from the west. There have been three separate falls of snow since last Wednesday bringing 60 to 90cm of fresh to the Bauges and Beaufortain and 50cm elsewhere.

avalanche warning flag

There are fresh slabs, particularly above 2000m on north sector slopes. These slabs resemble fresh powder and are very difficult to detect visually. A single skier or snowboarder could start a sizeable avalanche which could be sizeable on an open slope. Lower down take care on close to summits, convex slopes especially north-east to east slope aspects.

The sun will return to the Oisans, Savoie and Haute-Savoie during the course of Tuesday. The off-piste will look particularly inviting but the risks are very high at the moment even on quite low slope angles.

Posted by davidof on Monday, 12 February, 2007 at 05:15 PM

We had rain to 1900-2200m on Wednesday with some very heavy powder snow. Another 20cm is forecast overnight in the northern Alps then Thursday / Friday promise wonderful sunny weather with the zero iso to 2000-2500m tomorrow, 3100m on Friday so we could be looking at spring snow conditions on southern faces. Here are a few bits of video from the day’s action.

Grand Rocher - Google Video

Avy risk 4 at altitude so we stuck to low angled mid-mountain slopes with nothing nasty above.

Posted by davidof on  Friday, 16 February, 2007  at 08:54 PM

On Thursday (15/2) We toured one of the back bowls of the 7 Laux ski resort. It was very very warm on the south facing slopes we were on, we were expecting rain early on but this cleared out much sooner than expected.

Cime de la Jasse - video

There was 5cm of new snow at 1600m, around 20cm above 1800m. Lots of snow being moved around by strong winds from the north.

Posted by davidof on  Friday, 16 February, 2007  at 08:55 PM

We were out today over at St Columban, part of the Sybelles ski area. The original plan had been to do a north facing valley on the Belledonne side, but when we got on the scene we could see that two of the routes that were interesting had been avalanched and the third, while probably quite safe, was very windblown. We saw some skiers coming down later and it looked tricky.

So good news, south/east facing slopes seem pretty stable and there are spring snow conditions. East slopes are about right at 10.30-11am and south facing slopes around midday. We also found some powder on a north facing valley but it is starting to get a bit cohesive. At 2400m, which is the highest we climbed, there is a bit of sugar snow on north facing slopes with some slabs of fresh snow resting on top. Not enough to slide where we were but I can see why the avy risk is 3 at the mo.

Rocks are still not far from the surface below 2000m. It was also unskiable mush by 2pm below this altitude due to the zero iso being around 3200m.

Col de la Lavoire - google video

Posted by davidof on  Friday, 16 February, 2007  at 11:10 PM
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