Watch Out! Say Swiss Mountain Guides

After the deadliest start to the ski season for 15 years in the Swiss Alps an article in Swiss newspaper Le Matin warns that the avalanche situation is so bad that even pros don't want to go off piste and it doesn't seem like things are going to improve any time soon.

Seven victims in five days in seven separate incidents. 6 of them ski touring. The “White Death” has not stopped since the season began in the Swiss Alps. To such an extent that the Swiss Guides Association held a press conference this morning to warn of the danger of a catastrophic snowpack that has little chance of improving over time.
“It is as if there are ball bearings under the recent snow”, avalanche specialist Robert Bolognesi tries to give a simple idea of the situation. “There is the risk of slab avalanches, probably triggered by the victims themselves, and especially on north sector slopes. We need to be careful all winter”. Unless of course a period of cold weather is followed by thaw, ideally with rain. Then the “ball bearings” will have better cohesion as they freeze together. But that is unlikely.
Freeriders who themselves spend most of their time in snowy bowls and couloirs know the dangers. Confronted by a “hyper dangerous” start to the season the Vaudoise GĂ©raldine Fasnacht has decided to go to Ethopia for a spell! At Verbier Dominique Perret is pretty much staying on open and secured ski runs, elsewhere there are “at best rocks, at worst avalanches... why bother looking for trouble for nothing? The problem is that all winter will be difficult and frustrating in comparison with 2013 which was perfect in terms of the quality of snow and the stability of the snowpack. This season you will need to take great care!”

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