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Mountains in Norway have the uncanny habit of avalanches.  Stjernøya hasn’t escaped this norm.  The mining mountain is very steep and regularly prone to avalanches.  The mining company has buildt canals and fences to divert and prevent avalanches but they also set off explosives in the mountains for a ‘controled’ avalanche when there is too much snow build-up on the mountain.

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It is much better to know when an avalanche will happen than just waiting for it.  When an avalanche is planned it becomes an event for the workers of the plant.  They must leave their work areas and stand in the safe zone to watch the explosion and snow fall.  When the explosives are successful at causing an avalanche (many times they aren’t) the workers all cheer.

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Along the access road there are many mini avalanches that happen.  They are usually little snowballs that roll down the hill sides creating streams in the snow.  I think snowballs are similar to water, in that they never follow the same path.  The shape of each snowball creates a unique but regular pattern in the snow as it rolls down.  If you have a look at the snowball trail in the picture above you’ll notice a big-small-small-small-big pattern.  But the odd thing is… where have the snowballs gone at the end of their trails?

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Even at the slightest movement our Saint Bernard’s instinct kicks in and he monitors the snowballs (likely, hoping they are snow grouse). 

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