Theories Discussion > Avalanche

Snow Slab or Snow Cornice?

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on 15 April 2023, I read an article in a magazine about the mountain guide "Dimitriy Borisov", who shows pictures about an alleged snow slab on 7 January 2023, on Kholat. The article is in German but you can see the pictures. I am not of the opinion that it is a snow slab. Snow slabs have a width of about 50 meters and a length of about 200 meters. Here it should be 500m wide. The Kinetic Energy for a large "snow slab" is missing, especially since the break-off edges are only small. In addition, the pictures show no snow at the end of the snow slab. Nor do they show close-ups of the breakaway edges. An expedition would have taken detailed pictures, especially since the mountain was only 500m away. I think the expedition, which has direct contact with the Swiss "Puzrin", only wanted to help them. And "I am sure that it is a "Snow Cornice". Please let me know your opinion.

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The shape of the peak seems to match:

So, I'd say the photo was really taken there. It looks like a poor quality smartphone photo. But I have no doubt that it shows the aftermath of an avalanche. The area where the avalanche ends is too blurry to see the snow's conditions there. I agree, they should have taken better photos and checked out the faultline (edge).

Here's what a typical slab avalanche looks like:

Similar enough.

This changes nothing, though. Avalanches are possible there. Ok. The tent was found upright, some skis beside it still standing in the snow. Other skis under the tent. It wasn't hit by an avalanche. I don't know, maybe it happened to be at the edge and was hit by a flying block of ice? That doesn't explain how the most injured (Lyuda, Tibo, Semyon) got to the ravine. If they were carried by their comrades, where did the blood go (Tibo's head must have been bleeding heavily).
Another one:

Another photo of a typical slab avalanche:

If the person took the photo from the Boot Rock, the avalanche went kind of South-East, whereas the tent was more to the North-East. I can imagine a scenario where an avalanche does occur, but doesn't hit the tent. It's still a reason to leave the tent ASAP. Maybe that's how the incident started. But how did the ravine 4 injure themselves? There's more to the DPI...

Good to see some different angles. The researchers for the avalanche did observe a avalanche futher along the slope too. All signs of it were gone within an hour if I remember correctly. The wind on the exposed slopes can be that fierce.

At the moment, I suspect the ravine 4 were Injured where they were found . The amount of snow above them and the fact they are at ground level suggests a snow cave/hole collapsed on top of them. It seems the most plausible.

If we isolate the ravine 4 and put a different slant to how and where they were found....

If it was reported that 4 mountain climbers from the UK, Germany or France for example, were found in the UK or their home countries under 4 meters of snow , at ground level, in a ravine with the same injuries and fractures, would we question the injuries , would we say it was strange and someone else must have done it, or would we accept that it is a snow collapse.

Dimitri Borisov did not take a picture of an avalanche in the vicinity of the tent. He took a picture of an avalanche nearly two miles away, where avalanches do take place and where conditions are very different from the area around the tent. Dr. Vladimir Borzenko proved this by going there and taking pictures of the terrain himself.

This photo was taken from the top of Boot Rock of the area where the avalanche was caught on camera:

This photo is the best place to see evidence of an avalanche:

And this photo was taken from where the tent was located:

Using that patch of snow or ice or whatever that is as a reference point, it’s very obvious that there was quite a bit of distance between the two locations.

As for whether avalanches are possible at the tent location, I defer to Dr. Vladimir Borzenkov. There is no record that an avalanche ever took place there. But even proponents of the avalanche theory have had to admit that the slope just isn’t steep enough for an avalanche to occur there without human intervention. Furthermore, if one did occur there, it wouldn’t be a big one or go much past the side of the tent facing the forest line. Again, the slope is just not steep enough for it to go any farther. In addition, it would have obliterated the footprints. And it had to have missed the entrance since the entrance was still in an upright position when searchers found the tent a few weeks later.


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