Avalanche danger rating is 5 in Northern French Alps


When the danger rating is 5, you pay attention to avalanche risk in the town as well as the mountain. This avalanche crossed the road between Val d’Isere and Fornet yesterday.  Read definition here

Fornet Road avalanche 3rd January 2018 Photo: radio Val d’Isere

We will issue a more detailed full snow report tomorrow. But in the meantime here is Haute Tarentaise bulletin for Thursday

Bulletin

Above 2500 m, the heavy snowfall still expected by Thursday evening (80-100 cm), and the strong and very large accumulations in the leeward slopes below the wind (especially NE to SE) and even the more distant slopes, which have already been loaded in recent days.

Persistent weak layers of angular grains with little cohesion, especially on slopes with little exposure to current solar radiation, exist in slopes already purged. Below 2500 m, the fresh snow that becomes drier and the wind will form wind slab. The adhesion to the wet underlayment will be rather good, but these plates will be deposited sometimes on lighter fresh snow, like slopes sheltered from the wind, and then be more unstable. Then the rain will moisten and weigh down this fresh snow on all slopes.

Natural departures: Large avalanches can be triggered spontaneously above 2500 m, run lower sometimes carrying all the fresh snow or even more humid snow, and reach buildings or a road.

Accidental triggering: The passage of one or more skiers can also be a sufficient overload to trigger a more or less large avalanche.