Mont-Blanc: The avalanche risk will increase with the expected precipitation on Wednesday and Thursday


Météo France Alpes Corse warns: the precipitation to come on Wednesday 12 April and Thursday 13 April 2023 in the northern part of the Alps creates an avalanche risk: "voluminous with a wide and thick break" in the Mont-Blanc massif.

Vents forts, enneigement irrégulier et précipitations en haute altitude ont contribué à créer un manteau neigeux modérément stable sur certains versants, comme celui du glacier d’Armancette.  Photo Le DL /Greg YETCHMENIZA


“Currently, the snowpack is lacking at low altitude, its melting is accelerated by the high temperatures of recent days and the cloud cover which is in the process of setting up, confirmed the team from the avalanche focal point Alpes Corse. On the other hand, in the high mountains, the situation is still wintry. And the snow cover is normal for the season, even excessive in Haute-Savoie above 2500 m." 

Slabs can slip and trigger an avalanche

Meteorologists say the "snowpack is generally stable". But fragile under layers of snow buried on the shaded slopes above 2,400 m altitude (of which the Armancette glacier is a part) create the threat of major avalanches.

“We had a winter with relatively heavy rainfall sometimes followed by mild spells and therefore rain up to more than 2,500-2,700 m”, explains Stéphane Bornet, president of Anena. She also add: “All this was sometimes interspersed with long periods with completely absent precipitation. And the precipitation fell with a strong north to northeast wind that may have contributed to the formation of these slabs. All of these conditions create a level 2 out of 5 risk, a sign of a moderately stable snowpack on certain steep slopes.

But “the risk of avalanche will gradually increase with the precipitation expected on Wednesday and Thursday over the Alps, and especially in the northern part of the Alps”, announces Météo France.

Zero risk doesn't exist in the high mountains

Meteo France calls for caution : It is recommended to consult the avalanche bulletins on the website and the mountain professionals before any outing.

All these elements remind us that zero risk does not exist in the high mountains. That at any time, a buried slab can slip and trigger a major avalanche.

Source @Le Dauphine

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