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Media Releases

Heavy snowfall and wild weather increase avalanche risk in Victorian Alps

POSTED: 
6 September 2017

Victoria’s Emergency Services have warned of an increased risk of avalanches in back country alpine areas due to the forecast heavy snowfalls and strong winds. Cold temperatures, further snowfalls and persistent wind will prolong the risk of avalanches until mid to late week. 

An advice message has been issued to ask people in the area to avoid activities such as skiing, snowboarding, or hiking in remote areas of the Alps as there is an increased risk of avalanches occurring.

Authorities warned experienced skiers and snowboarders that avalanches in backcountry areas are more likely on steep slopes that face between east and south, especially at higher elevations and near ridge tops, but are possible on all aspects.

Hume Regional Controller Ross Sullivan said forecast weather for coming days would not help the situation.

“There has been significant snowfall already and we expect that to continue tonight, adding to the risk of avalanches occurring” said Mr Sullivan.

“In the warning areas, the safest area for skiing and winter activities is within the patrolled resort areas. People should exercise caution if skiing or snowboarding in areas that are beyond the ski area boundaries and avoid back country areas.”

Emergency Services also advised those driving in the area to be aware of weather and road conditions, stay on main roads and observe road closures.

For more information:

  • Visit www.emergency.vic.gov.au
  • Tune in to ABC Local Radio, commercial and designated community radio stations, or Sky News TV.
  • Call the VicEmergency Hotline to talk to someone about this warning on freecall 1800 226 226.
  • People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have a speech/communication impairment can contact VicEmergency Hotline via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.
  • For help with English, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (free-call) and ask them to telephone VicEmergency Hotline. If you know someone who cannot speak English, provide them with this number.
  • Download the VicEmergency app or follow VicEmergency on Twitter or Facebook.

For information on staying safe in the snow: