random photo of a wet slide avalanche

This is the one time of year that we can all breath a sigh of relief and stop worrying about avalanches.  Wrong.

Daytime heating loosens snow and can cause deadly avalanches that rip down to the ground.  These avalanche look like churning whitewater and have a density to them that gives them insane inertia.

A 57-year old man was killed in Austria on Friday from a wet slide avalanche.  This man was not wearing an avalanche beacon.  The avalanche occurred in Obergurgl (Tyrol province).  The victim’s 79-year old ski partner was also caught in the slide but was only partially buried and was able to escape.

Obergurgl, Austria.

The body of the avalanche victim was located by rescue dogs hours after the initial avalanche.

Temperatures were very high on friday (up to 86F) which increased the dangers of wet avalanches remarkably.  

Spring is no time to let your guard down.  One of the biggest red flags in avalanche country is rapid temperature rise which is occurring every single day in the springtime.  Heads up out there, humans.

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2 Comments

  1. Miles Clark says:

    Wet slides can be very scary. Especially when they rip to the ground. This is a good heads up for all of us to remember. Condolences.

    Reply
  2. Damon says:

    Witnessed a wet slide on Saturday in the backcountry near Mt. Bachelor. The slide looked like a flowing river and had some substantial power behind it. 8 inches layer of fresh heavy snow released from a corn layer below. Be careful out there.

    Reply

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