Avalanche Control: Mountainside Under Fire in Ski Regions

While I was aware of the danger that avalanches present to ski towns, I knew very little about what was done in order to prevent skiers from triggering a disaster.  Avalanches are going to forever be a threat – there’s nothing you can do to stop the snow from accumulating on steep slopes – but we can prevent it from occurring unexpectedly.

Turns out the solution is pretty fun: They fire into the side of the mountain.

Skiing through the resorts at Salt Lake, I often saw small turret guns mounted on the side of the trails. These are used to shoot dynamite into hillsides with heavy snow. I couldn’t find a video of the preventative maintanence happening in Salt Lake, but I did find one of the Russian Military performing the task.

The Russians take it to a new level – the guns I saw were not fit for the front lines of battle – however the process is just as humorous:

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