Occupational Hazard!

5th March 2008

Well it finally happened after nine winters working for the avalanche service and nine years of parking my vehicle in windy car parks I finally lost a window and gained loads of chips in my paintwork! Midday in the top carpark at the ski area a monster gust picked up the surface of the carpark and hurled it at my van. Luckily I was hiding behing the van and not sitting in the driver’s seat which is now covered in glass.
So it was pretty gusty on the hill today – the winds rose rapidly in the morning and it’s still fairly windy now. Top temperature at 933 metres was +1.7. This was only just starting to affect the surface layers this morning. The forecast tonight and tomorrow is for heavy rain with the freezing level rising above the summits. There will be a period of avalanche activity as the surface layers become saturated. Cornices will also be prone to collapse. Ice and rock fall could also be an issue.
It’s staying fairly windy with 45mph SW winds tomorrow. That combined with the heavy rain will make for an unpleasant day on the hills.
Now where’s the plastic and gaffer tape!
Sam

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