Increased risk of avalanches!
Avalanches: 2016 seems to be an especially tough year in terms of avalanches-risks in Austria
This winter seems to be an especially tough year when it’s about avalanches. More than a dozen of people have already died under an avalanche or due to the effects of avalanches in Austria. But why is this country in such a conflict with the masses of snow, and why are there so many victims this year? We take a look on the current climate situation and the conditions in the Austria alps, where every years thousands of people decide to go skiing and snowboarding there.
A difficult situation
Avalanches in the Austrian alps is nothing new of course. But normally, an avalanches per year or per weather period is the normal standard, therefore the possible amount of victims is limited. Most of the time, a winter brings one or maybe two groups of people in danger or makes them lose their lifes if there’s no help soon enough. This year it’s different though. Only a few days ago, Czech alpinists decided to go around in the alps in a group of twenty, as an avalanche catched thirteen of them, five of them dies.
According to security and alpinists experts, the Austrian alps are at an extremely critical and dangerous point. There’s snow on the surface and it’s good for skiing, hiking, snowboarding or taking a walk, but it’s only the surface that’s really pleasing. The ground, where the new snow fell on is not really stable and sure. The deepest shift is neither stable, thick or gurantees any kind of safety. In fact, especially for alpinists and routes outside of the ski areas there’s a huge risk that a small signal could start an avalanche – for example shouting, or simply walking or skiing down a certain area.
Not recommended to do ski touring these days
Austrian Alpin Experts strongly recommended not to go skiing or hiking outside of the (relatively safe) skiing areas. Especially above heights of 2000 meters, the risk of accidentally starting an avalanche is especially high. But also below 2000 meters it’s not really safe – winds and rain increases the dangers of avalanches. Wind is prepares optimum conditions for avalanches, while rain makes the snow heavier and far more concentrated. Due to the extra weight because of rain there is an increased chance, snow is going to move downhills.
Currently the danger of avalanches in Austria gets rate as three out of five. Doesn’t sound as dangerous as it actually is, as most accidents in the alps happen when this level of danger gets declared by the Austrian alpine institute.
Any hopes of an improvement of the situation?
Even the ground of the snow masses is pretty unstable, snowing could be the solution right now. The heavy, wet and concentrated snow, that’s in danger of going downhill would not be on the surface anymore and would rather be in the deeper shifts. Meanwhile, the lighter new snow would stay on the surface and would not fall down so fast due to the low weight.
source photo: pinterest