White death

Slide into oblivion
Avalanches unveiled
Rotten snow
Avalanche forecasting
Staying safe
Anatomy of a snowflake

An aerial view of an avalanche crashing through the forest near the ski resort of Evolene, in the southern Swiss Alps, Monday, Feb, 22, 1999. Two other avalanches hit the resort Sunday evening, killing two, and leaving several others missing.

AP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini

Deadly year for avalanches
A giant avalanche hidden by clouds of snow crashed down the hill.

23 FEB 2000 Still sliding!
As we went to press, avalanches continue slamming into the headlines:

  • Rare avalanches in New England killed two skiers.

  • Slides in the Italian Alps killed six.

  • A British girl was rescued from a slide in the Austrian Alps.

  • Avalanche warnings are issued for many European mountains.

  • Two American snowboarders are sued by a French ski resort after skiing out of bounds and setting off a slide which swept across marked ski trails.!
17 FEB 2000 It's developing into a record year for avalanche deaths in Colorado, the unwilling host to about one-third of U.S. avalanche fatalities. Last year, avalanches killed 32 people in the United States, and around 150 people worldwide.

Kilotons of snow run amok, avalanches can:

    cut roads and isolate mountain towns. A recent avalanche in Alaska cut off the town of Gridwood, near Anchorage, for several days.

    knock down buildings. In 1999, a New Year's Day avalanche killed nine in the Inuit village of Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec. The victims had been celebrating in the school gym.

    knock cars and buses off mountain roads. On January 20, a bus was swept into the sea in Norway, killing five.

An avalanche is:

  1. a hockey team

  2. a French word meaning "detour ahead," or

  3. a huge snowslide.


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