We skied down, following the line of the chair until we arrived above the crown wall. It was only about half a meter high so hopped over it to the slope below. We all have a common interest in avalanches and how they happen so took time to look at some of the factors that caused this one. Obviously we couldn't determine the weather conditions before and during the slide or the trigger (whether it was natural or an applied weight) but we could have a clear look at the snow pack, the weak layer and bed layer that the snow slid on, the slope aspect and the angle. It was an old slide as it had slipped over the piste and was then bashed over, but a majority of the debris was still visible. The slope was (from memory) 40 degrees and a NE aspect and the crown wall was about 50m long. The weak layer was a layer of fine 'ball bearings' on top of hard pack snow. So it was easy to see how the avalanche happened and gave us an insight into why it slid. Every day is a learning day and it was good to see evidence like that first hand.
The rest of the day was spent int he Plande la Gabba area skiing trees and wind blown snow, which was interesting.
|Wind blown snow coming off the Chamonix Aiguilles|
|Examining a crown wall in Courmyeur|
|Skiing off the Aig. Croche|
|Hard pack snow in Les Contamines, it was practically a piste|
|Broken pole brought interesting skiing for the remainder of the day|
|Not just a broken pole!|
There's ALWAYS stuff to do on the GM!