GREAT Slab triggering and snowpit demo (in current conditions for N French Alps)

Snowpit Compression Test Showing weak layer Xavier de la Rue SLF photo

Video by our good friend Alain Duclos and colleagues on this link

PS 'Nucleation' means initiation 


***See also ALAIN DUCLOS guest on our weekly webinar 26 January 2014 on video below***

2014-01_slab avalanche triggering mechanism

See video

Off Piste Snow Report : 22nd - 29th January 2014

Check the web cams. There may be clear skies in some places while not in others!


Weather Forecast (as reported by Météo-France Savoie on 22nd January 2014) for Savoie and the N French Alps

Maybe 'winter' has arrived at last?  From Wednesday night onwards, a series of unsettled, stormy weather patterns will come through from the N to NW. It will become a lot colder, and we are due for quite a lot of fresh snow over the next few days!

Wednesday 22nd:
Tonight:  Following a stunning "bluebird" day, cloud cover will thicken as the night progresses. Small amounts (less than 3 cm) of snow will fall above 400/600 m. Temperatures: -7° at 2000 m and -14° at 3000 m.
Thursday 23rd:
Remaining cold in the mountains, with light snowfall above 400/600 m. Becoming brighter and dry from mid- afternoon. More snowfall overnight, down to 300/500 m (around 15-25 cm of snow expected at 1500 m). S winds at altitude turning NW during the afternoon and strengthening to 50 km/hr. Looks like maybe 20 cm or more in many places!!
Friday 24th: 
Remaining cold in the mountains. Frequent snow showers until the early afternoon - then it will clear up. 0° at 700 m. Wind remaining N, with gusts of 40 to 60 km/hr.
Saturday 25th: 
Sunny at high altitude above a sea of cloud at 1500 m. Clouding over again during the night, with more snowfall.

Avalanche risk on tracked out slopes - Hangout on Air 1800GMT Sunday 19th January

Avalanche Slide next to piste on tracked out slope.jpg

This photo attracted alot of attention on our Facebook page

The photo shows an avalanche release on the kind of tracked out slope that we all go on all the time.  It is tempting to think they are always safe.  But even here you have to intepret the conditions.

Off Piste Snow Report : 15th - 22nd January 2014

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Stunning day 15th Jan. Photo by Wayne Watson, Alpine Experience


A quick chat on having fun and being safe off-piste at the moment...


especially regarding the tricky snowpack instability in the Northern Alps - video courtesy of



See video

Off-Piste Snow Report : 8th to 15th January 2014

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James Cove ( journalist) photographing Henry s 3 day Off Piste Course


Question about secured areas vs controlled areas

 We recently received this email with a question. I am sharing the question and our reply here because I think it is interesting for everyone. It is certainly important that you understand the areas that are secured and are not secured.

Off-Piste Snow Report : 1st - 8th January 2014

Typical accidentally triggered avalanche over the last few days in Northern French Alps most on NE to NW facing slopes above 2000 metres


Very Happy New Year everybody!  Here's the first of our off-piste snow reports for 2014!

Weather Forecast (as reported by Météo-France Savoie on 1st January 2014)


for Savoie & Northern French Alps


See video

25 cm of fresh snow from last night

Sylvie enjoying the fresh snow today!


25 cm of fresh snow from last night


Off-Piste Snow Report : 25th - 31st December 2013

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Distance trigger slab 15 to 20 cm crown triggered from 50 m away (A.Bjorklund)

Attention! Slabs have already been triggered today due to wind transporting snow (wind-loading) and the weak layer of snow that has been in place for almost a month now. These slabs have been triggered naturally and at distances of 50 metres or more - see photos taken of examples in the Haute Tarentaise (Val d'Isère, 5-10 km from the Italian border) by Andreas Bjorklund.

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