Avalanches are natural catastrophes that statistically claim few deaths, but the proliferation of ski resorts has caused an increase in the number of victims. At the centre of snow studies of Meteo France in Grenoble, scientists, with the help of very sophisticated instruments, are trying to discover the relationship between the accumulation of crystals and the cohesion of the snow mantle. In Chamonix, the mayor Michel Charlet explains the difficulty of coping with the avalanche hazard in a centre that is so important for mountain activities. Avalanche are artificially provoked, also with explosives every day in order to limit potential risk.
HERVE MARTIN DEL PIERRE