Alternate Methods of Avalanche Control - Final Report

The Alternate Methods of Avalanche Control project has been funded by the Washington State Highway Commission since August 1974 in order to develop simple, reliable and repeatable methods of triggering avalanche release which are free from the storage, handling and availability problems of explosives and artillery shells and which can readily be applied to avalanche paths typical of the many smaller ones causing frequent hazards for highways.

The research involved tests in both Washington and Colorado to permit evaluation of the control methods in diverse climates and snow conditions, leading to more generally applicable results than could be obtained at a single site.

The technical and scientific aspects of the work in Colorado were coordinated by the San Juan Avalanche Project of the University of Colorado. Field work in Washington State and the general supervision of the program and the engineering design were carried out by the University of Washington Geophysics Program.

The US Forest Service at Alta, Utah, also joined in a cooperative test of our methods and equipment.

This Final Report describes the 1977/78 tests and summarizes the results of the entire project.


Publication Date: 
Saturday, July 1, 1978
Publication Number: 
WA-RD 019.3
Last modified: 
11/08/2017 - 14:47
E.R. LaChapelle, D.B. Bell, J.B. Johnson, R.W. Lindsay, E.M. Sackett, P.L. Taylor.
University of Washington. Geophysics Program; University of Washington. Dept. of Civil Engineering.
Number of Pages: 
Avalanches, Climate, Control, Explosives, Roadside hazards, Snow, Snow and ice control, Weather, Winter maintenance.