Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rock avalanche!

On Saturday the 10th of September, as we were hiking up towards the Aiguilles Rouges a big bang that turned into an impressive roar could be heard coming from the other side of the valley. What was at first a small cloud emerging from les Drus (12,313), grew to an amazing amount of debris, dust and ice. This rock fall was "the end" of a larger one that happened in 2005 I guess six years is six seconds in geological time... In 2005 the Bonatti (an extremely competent italian alpinist) couloir came tumblig down.
The white arrows show the scar that is still visible from that cartastrophic event. The red arrow shows "the rest" that fell down on Saturday:
The 2005 event was the largest rock fall yet observed in Chamonix. I am told that in 2005 you could feel the ground shake from Geneva to Italy. The on we wittnessed on Saturday was the biggest since 2005 with 12,000 m3 of granit crashing down

here is how the cloud grew after the first impact seen above:

...and now it gets outright serious:

Here are the "unavoidables". Aiguille du Midi:
...and the Mt Blanc:

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