| Home | Slopes | 2024-05-31

Alpental: Four Gazex exploders

If you came to Alpental on a powder day this winter, chances are you heard these brand-new bad boys in action! Last summer we installed four Gazex exploders above Upper International, wrapping around the start of the high traverse and out into the Back Bowls to aid our avalanche control efforts. 

This control route was previously very time-consuming and high exposure for our team due to narrow ridges, cornices, rock, and cliffs below. On big snow days, this route could take up to 3 hours to complete by hand. With the new system, we can control this whole region (which is required to open the International side) without even stepping foot on the ridge, which greatly reduces the risk for our team and allows them to focus on other routes sooner.

We started the season uncertain about the true impacts that these would have on operations, but we can now confidently say the Gazex exploders were totally worth it! Despite substantially lower than normal snowfall and fewer days with avalanche control, we still had over 75 Gazex fires last winter. The system gave us increased flexibility in terms of when and how often we were able to control the area, so we could take advantage of when the snowpack was most unstable.

This summer we plan to install one more Gazex unit in this area and add two Wyssen towers further out above the high traverse to increase our remote avalanche control coverage.

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