Switzerland is one of the deadliest places on the planet when it comes to avalanches. Many of the country’s villages and roads lie beneath massive slide paths, and when it snows, big white walls of snow start moving. These days, those dangers are elevated thanks to a warming climate, and the team of scientists and avalanche forecasters at the WSL institute for Snow and Avalanche Research are figuring out how and why it affects mountain communities.
In the short film Mountain Fever, learn about the day-to-day-lives of these mountain ninjas and take a look at the futuristic equipment they use to measure massive slides. Their research includes everything from observing real avalanches in order to create detailed 3D models, to measuring permafrost levels in the high mountains, to CT-scanning snow samples from as far away as Greenland. It’s used not just to help backcountry skiers and snowboarders but also to help engineers and planners decide whether new structures are safe. Turns out that safe zones are ever-evolving as avalanches get bigger and more dangerous.