Friday, January 18, 2019

Manually Triggering Avalanches in the Alps

Helicopter crew drop explosives on mountain pistes to trigger an avalanche in after heavy snowfall in incredible footage. 

Rescuers filmed the breath-taking footage as they flew above the slopes of Grimentz, in the Swiss Alps, on January 15.

Explosives can be seen falling on the mountain ridges which causes the snow to cascade down in a domino effect.

Helicopter teams were deployed to trigger controlled avalanches to release snow buildup after more than 39 inches fell in some parts of the region in 24 hours.

A local aviation and rescue company, Air-Glaciers, worked with the local ski station to secure the pistes ahead of their opening for skiers.

This comes after heavy snowfall trapped tourists in hotels in the Alps, with all roads blocked and the only way of leaving or entering was by helicopter.

Rescue teams worked 'as a matter of urgency' to try to open roads to free guests as Switzerland's avalanche institute, SLF, lowered the avalanche risk from the highest level, five, to four.

Frank Techel, an avalanche forecaster at Swiss avalanche research institute SLF, said that roughly 10-13 feet of snow had been dumped on the Zermatt area so far this year, which he called an 'extraordinary' amount for the region in such a short span.

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