Item: The swiss "rutschblock" snow stability evaluation test
Title: The swiss "rutschblock" snow stability evaluation test
Proceedings: 1986 International Snow Science Workshop, Lake Tahoe, California, USA
Authors: Danny Whitmore, Susan A. Burak, James Malone, Robert E. Davis
Abstract: Conventional backcountry shear tests of the snow pack are compared with the Swiss Rutschblock test on steep, stable slopes. Conventional tests use a variety of levering tools and the Rutschblock uses a skier on the slope to reveal potential failure planes. In the Swiss test gradual static and dynamic loading yields one of seven degrees of slab strength, while conventional lever shear tests result in a more subjective five-class rating of slab performance. Results show the conventional lever-type shear tests to be too sensitive and therefore not consistently representative of snow pack stability in the context of backcountry ski travel.
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Keywords: snow pack, rutschblock, slab strength, backcountry skiing
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