Back home in Chamonix after a week away on guides courses. After the Off Piste Course we drove through the tunnel to Aussois in the Vanoise Nationa Park.

Here we met up once again with Alain Duclos who’s a definite expert in the avalanche field and who has run courses for many of the guide associations in Europe.

An ex Ski Patroller and Mountain Guide, Alain has completed a PHD in Slab avalanches and now works as an adviser for the Savoie region both as an expert witness in court and for current avalanche conditions for road safety. He knows his stuff!

Despite his extensive technical knowledge, Alain runs his courses with a massive emphasis on simple solutions and planning, backed up with many examples of real skier triggered avalanches from his database.

There is a real tendency for people to over complicate avalanche knowledge and prediction, (in my opinion), and it’s refreshing to see Alain “play” with his snow, rather than run “tests” to determine if a slope is safe or not. A great example being the crown wall of an avalanche we investigated which had different results along its length.

Anyway, here’s some links to Alain’s website and database, and a few photos from the three days in Aussois.

Data Avalanche – Data base of avalanches, plus various links.

Avalanche – Unpredictable and Vigilance. A good Prezi presentation by Alain Himself.


2014-01_slab avalanche triggering mechanism par Data-Avalanche

 

No no, After you, I insist.

No no, After you, I insist.

Far from the crowds in the Vanoise

Far from the crowds in the Vanoise

Cold toes anyone?

Cold toes anyone?

Mike investigating a skier triggered crown wall

Mike investigating a skier triggered crown wall

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