In our recent post Avalanches on Stjernøya, we described how explosive experts often set off charges to create a controlled avalanche in a high-risk area. However, it is often a hit-and-miss wether the charges actually set off anything. On Stjernøya, we have already attempted twice this winter to blast the snow off the mountain, but with no success. This doesn’t mean the mountain is safe – the snow could still come crashing down at any time.

So two days ago, after another heavy snowfall, the guys decided to try again. All the staff was evacuated to a safe distance from the plant, before 40 kgs of dynamite was lowered down the mountainside on sleds. The charges went off with a loud bang, and we all waited for several seconds until…

…success! Thousands of tons of snow came crashing down with a vengeance. Even standing 300m away, the cloud of snow hit us like a blizzard. Still, to everyone’s relief, the worst danger is over for now. 

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