View from Špindlerův Mlýn in the Krkonoše Mountains to the Kozí hřbety (left) and Luční Hora (right) avalanche sites on January 14, 2019.
Špindlerův Mlýn (Trutnovsk Region) – The avalanche danger in the Czech part of the Krkonoše Mountains today rose to level three on the five-point international scale after heavy snowfall in recent days. The situation in the mountains at the third stage is described as very treacherous. In the current winter season, it is already the third time that this level of avalanche has been reached in the Krkonoše Mountains, according to the information provided on the website of the Krkonoše Mountain Service. The second degree of avalanche danger continues in the Polish part of the mountains.
There is 100 to 160 centimeters of snow on the Krkonoše ridges, more of it is stored on the leeward slopes of the northwest to southeast directions, in breakaway zones and in gullies. “Ten centimeters of new snow fell on the ice crust in the last 24 hours on the ridges of the mountains, in the last 48 hours 30 centimeters and in the last four days 50 centimeters of new snow, in combination first with a northwesterly, later with a southwesterly wind,” said Robert in the avalanche forecast today Long from the Krkonoše mountain service.
At present, the temperatures on the ridges are around zero, the precipitation is snow, with decreasing altitude the precipitation is mixed to rain. “At altitudes above 1350 meters above sea level, due to the influence of the wind, snow slabs form on the leeward slopes, slab avalanches can occur here. At altitudes below 1400 meters above sea level, the snow cover is moist to wet, here wet snow avalanches can occur in all exposures ,” said Dlouhý.
He pointed out that the release of an avalanche is already possible with a small additional load, especially on the steep slopes usually indicated in the avalanche forecast. “In some cases, there is a possibility of spontaneous release of avalanches of large and, in exceptional cases, very large sizes, which usually stop at the bottom of the slope,” added Dlouhý.
At the third stage, the avalanche danger is considerable and hiking in the terrain requires great caution. During the period of the third degree of avalanche danger, between February 1 and 9, three large avalanches with lengths of 700 to 1000 meters occurred in the Czech part of the Krkonoše Mountains, namely in the Small and Large Boiler Pits and in the Giant Mine. No one was hurt.
Avalanche locations on the Czech side of the Giant Mountains are Kotelní jámy, the Bílé Labe valley from Bouda u Bílé Labe, Kozí hřbety and Labský, Obří, Dlouhý and Modrý důl. On the Polish side, these are the Snow pits, Kociol Lomniczki or Bialy Jar. Avalanche cadastres in the Krkonoše Mountains are located in locations where people should not be at all due to nature protection. There is no danger of avalanches in the Krkonoše ski slopes and residences.
At the Luční bouda ridge at an altitude of 1,415 meters, there was fog in the morning, zero degrees Celsius and 123 cm of snow, the Mountain Service of the Krkonoše reported.
First level avalanche danger in the Czech part of the mountains was announced for the first time this winter season last December 12. The avalanche danger in the Krkonoše Mountains rose to the second level on December 13 and fell to the first level again on December 25. The mountain service revoked the lowest level of avalanche danger this year on January 2. The avalanche danger level in the Krkonoše mountains rose again on Saturday, January 14, to the second level on January 21, and to the third level in the Czech part of the mountains on February 1. The third degree then applied on the Czech side of the mountains until February 9, when the avalanche risk dropped to the second degree. It rose to level three a second time on February 26, with the avalanche danger downgraded from level three to level two on March 3. On the Polish side of the mountains, the third level was not declared at that time.