Harsh Winter Creates Extreme Avalanche Danger in Bulgarian Mountains
Avalanche danger in the Bulgarian mountains is unusually high due to the excessive snowfall combined with stints of warm days, warned Bulgarian Mountain Rescue Service director Kiril Rusev.
Although snowfall in Bulgaria's high mountains creates hazardous avalanche conditions every year, the situation in 2012 is out of the ordinary, stressed Rusev in an interview for the Focus Information Agency.
"At present avalanche danger in many places is very high. The snow cover has subsided, but additional snowfalls and warming weather create good conditions for so-called principal avalanches, in which heavy masses of snow slide down," said the rescuer.
He also recalled that a number of spells of heavy snowfall in January and February, followed by warming weather, then by new heavy snowfall, has contributed to the complicated situation.
Rusev also warned that there is avalanche danger in places, where it usually is rare, including under the treeline, and that a number of significant avalanches in such places have already fallen.
He added that nevertheless avalanche danger is highest on north and north-eastern slopes on the high mountain ridges, especially at places where there are long open slopes.
The Mountain Rescue Service director reminded hikers and climbers to exercise special caution when in the moutnains, to avoid dangerous sites, and to carry adequate avalanche gear.
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