Alp D'Huez avalanche - 01/01/96

Alp D'Huez avalanche - 01/01/96

Post by Brian McIlwra » Fri, 05 Jan 1996 04:00:00


On my last day in Alp D'Huez (this Monday - 1st January) there were a series
of avalanches (4 I believe) on the Sarenne black run near its starting point
at Pic Blanc. This run had just opened but, be that as it may, most people
were shocked that an open run had avalanched.

Rumours in the village Monday evening suggested that people HAD been killed
and that they were digging throughout the night to find more victims.

Does anyone know what the final score was on this rather bad incident?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Brian McIlwrath, Starlink Project, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK.

   -------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Alp D'Huez avalanche - 01/01/96

Post by aka snowm » Wed, 10 Jan 1996 04:00:00

If anyone has more info on this or other incidents in Europe please send
it to us and we will post it on our snow and avalanche site -
http://SportToday.org/

We have recently received and posted info on a number of accidents in
North America. However, we have not received any info from other parts of
the world.

Jim Frankenfield
***space Snow and Avalanche Center


Quote:
> On my last day in Alp D'Huez (this Monday - 1st January) there were a series
> of avalanches (4 I believe) on the Sarenne black run near its starting point
> at Pic Blanc. This run had just opened but, be that as it may, most people
> were shocked that an open run had avalanched.

> Rumours in the village Monday evening suggested that people HAD been killed
> and that they were digging throughout the night to find more victims.

> Does anyone know what the final score was on this rather bad incident?

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>    Brian McIlwrath, Starlink Project, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK.

>    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


 
 
 

Alp D'Huez avalanche - 01/01/96

Post by James Singh;int.rates;l » Tue, 09 Jan 1996 04:00:00

Brian McIlwrath writes
On my last day in Alp D'Huez (this Monday - 1st January) there were a  
series
of avalanches (4 I believe) on the Sarenne black run near its starting  
point
at Pic Blanc. This run had just opened but, be that as it may, most people
were shocked that an open run had avalanched.

Rumours in the village Monday evening suggested that people HAD been  
killed
and that they were digging throughout the night to find more victims.

Does anyone know what the final score was on this rather bad incident?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Brian McIlwrath, Starlink Project, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK.

   -----------------------------------------------------------------------
--
read in yesterday's newspapers that 5 injured and 1 dead following the  
avalanche.  local authorities requesting 3 skiers to come forward, as they  
were observed traversing a closed, off-piste, ski area above the  
avalanche, and are believed to have caused it.  Authorities indicated they  
could be charged with ***, and possibly also under france's "hit & run"  
laws.

 
 
 

Alp D'Huez avalanche - 01/01/96

Post by aka snowm » Wed, 10 Jan 1996 04:00:00

If anyone has more info on this or other incidents in Europe please send
it to us and we will post it on our snow and avalanche site -
http://SportToday.org/

We have recently received and posted info on a number of accidents in
North America. However, we have not received any info from other parts of
the world.

Jim Frankenfield
***space Snow and Avalanche Center


Quote:
> On my last day in Alp D'Huez (this Monday - 1st January) there were a series
> of avalanches (4 I believe) on the Sarenne black run near its starting point
> at Pic Blanc. This run had just opened but, be that as it may, most people
> were shocked that an open run had avalanched.

> Rumours in the village Monday evening suggested that people HAD been killed
> and that they were digging throughout the night to find more victims.

> Does anyone know what the final score was on this rather bad incident?

> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>    Brian McIlwrath, Starlink Project, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK.

>    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Alp D'Huez avalanche - 01/01/96

Post by Sander Steenbrin » Wed, 10 Jan 1996 04:00:00

Hi

Thanks for the report about this tragic accident. I appreciate it that you bring
this to our attention and perhaps more people start to realize what the dangers
are of off-piste skiing and ski-mountaineering. By the way, I have no details of
the accident apart from the article nor do I have any judgement on this
particular case. I just want to pay attention to the following.

Avalanche prediction is an enormously difficult task, but the best thing at hand
(besides your own common sense) for ski-tourists is the avalanche bulletin. It
usually is available at the mountain guide office, skischool, meteo office and at
various phone numbers. Before going off-piste, you just cannot afford not to have
read it !!! It is also on the web at

      gopher://gopher.wsl.ch/11/Services/

The advice from local mountain guides or experienced ski-instructors can be very
useful too.

The avalanche dangers is divided into several scales, which are summarised below
(also available at the gopher service in French and Italian). At January 1st, the
danger level was 3, which requires very careful consideration of the slopes to
enter. That steep couloir with deep powder snow on the shadow side that you are
dreaming to ski may be dangerous even at a level of 2.

                 *************************************
                 * Europaeische Lawinengefahrenskala *
                 *************************************

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gefahren- | Schneedeckenstabilitaet / Lawinen-Ausloesewahrscheinlichkeit /
  stufe   | Hinweise fuer Personen ausserhalb gesicherter Zonen / Empfehlungen
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1     | Die Schneedecke ist allgemein gut verfestigt und stabil.
  gering  | Ausloesung ist allgemein nur bei grosser Zusatzbelastung an sehr
          | wenigen, extremen Steilhaengen moeglich. Spontan sind nur kleine
          | Lawinen moeglich. Allgemein sichere Verhaeltnisse.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2     | Die Schneedecke ist an einigen Steilhaengen nur maessig verfestigt,
  maessig | ansonst allgemein gut verfestigt.
          | Ausloesung ist insbesondere bei grosser Zusatzbelastung vor allem
          | an den angegebenen Steilhaengen moeglich. Groessere spontane
          | Lawinen sind nicht zu erwarten.
          | Mehrheitlich guenstige Verhaeltnisse.  Vorsichtige Routenwahl, vor
          | allem an Steilhaengen der angegebenen Exposition und Hoehenlage.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3     | Die Schneedecke ist an vielen Steilhaengen nur maessig bis schwach
erheblich | verfestigt.
          | Ausloesung ist bereits bei geringer Zusatzbelastung vor allem an
          | den angegebenen Steilhaengen moeglich. Fallweise sind spontan
          | einige mittlere, vereinzelt aber auch grosse Lawinen moeglich.
          | Teilweise unguenstige Verhaeltnisse. Erfahrung in der Lawinen-
          | beurteilung erforderlich. Steilhaenge der angegebenn Exposition und
          | Hoehenlage moeglichst meiden.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4     | Die Schneedecke ist an den meisten Steilhaengen schwach verfestigt.
  gross   | Ausloesung ist bereits bei geringer Zusatzbelastung an zahlreichen
          | Steilhaengen warscheinlich. Fallweise sind spontan viele mittlere,
          | mehrfach auch grosse Lawinen zu erwarten.
          | Unguenstige Verhaeltnisse. Viel Erfahrung in der Lawinenbeurteilung
          | erforderlich. Beschraenkung auf maessig steiles Gelaende / Lawinen-
          | ausleufbereiche beachten.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5     | Die Schneedecke ist allgemein schwach verfestigt und weitgehend
sehr gross| instabil.
          | Spontan sind zahlreiche grosse Lawinen, auch in maessig steilem
          | Gelaende zu erwarten.
          | Sehr unguenstige Verhaeltnisse. Verzicht empfohlen.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Das lawinengefaehrliche Gelaende ist im Lawinenbulletin im allgemeinen naeher
beschrieben (z.B Hoehenlage, Exposition, Gelaendeform usw.).

Zusatzbelastung: - gross  (z.B. Skifahrergruppe ohne Abstaende, Pistenfahrzeug)
                 - gering (z.B. einzelner Skifahrer, Fussgaenger)

Steilhaenge    : Haenge steiler als rund 30 Grad

spontan        : ohne menschliches Dazutun

Die Gefahrenstufen gelten einheitlich im ganzen Alpengebiet.

--
Sander S***brink
Laboratory of Engineering Mechanics
Delft University of Technology
P.O. Box 5033, 2600 GA Delft
the Netherlands
phone + 31 15 2786506      Micromechanics Home Page:
fax   + 31 15 2782150      http://SportToday.org/~wbtmeyg/micromech.htm