By accident, I found a newspaper report that describes the extreme likelihood of a massive rockfall, caused by the collapse of the summit of DL/AL-030 Hochvogel. They expect 260 000 cubic meters of rock to come down either this year or early next year. Here is the report (in German):
I don’t think I would attempt that summit myself but it needs watching, hopefully no one gets hurt when the summit collapses into the valley.I read in the article that some tracks have already been closed and there are warnings that to try to ascend the summit at the moment could have deadly results.
My suspecion would be that after the snows, is the most likely time for it to collapse - with ice in those existing cracks and heavy rains.
Thanks for the videos - those are very impressive cracks developing on the summit there - directly at the summit! Looks like a LOT of rock will fall soon
In the first video, I hope those guys arranged to meet up later with the young lady they met (at 02:30 in the video) who had suffered a fall, and whom they gave first-aid to. Just to see if she got home alright, of course…
Thanks for the update Marcel. That article states that the cracks at the top of the mountain have widened by something like 30 cm (~1 foot) in the last five years - it’s only a matter of time before a large section of the mountain breaks off. Fortunately, the valleys into which debris is expected to fall are not - or very sparsely - inhabited.
The article also states that these upland areas previously at or above the snow/ice line are losing their ice due to climate change and that it is to be expected that other sections of mountains previously prevented from falling by permanent ice/frost acting as a “glue” will begin to crack and fall off as the ice melts away over time.
I have seen so many smaller and large rockfalls and instability this year, myself and on social media, that it is very clear that one will have to be very careful following old, established routes from the alpine guidebooks.
On Monday, on Westliche Zinne, I/AA-083 there was a pretty substantial rockfall directly into parts of the route, just before reaching the horizontal passage (“Ringband”). Luckily before we passed that part.
While the potential rockfall on Hochvogel is unusually big, significant rockfalls happen pretty well everywhere where you get exposures of rock. It happens in the UK, too. For example one of my favourite rock climbs, Nea on Clogwyn y Grochan in the Llanberis Pass lost its entire top pitch, but years ago a complete rock climb on the Tremadoc cliffs near Portmadoc collapsed just after a couple of climbers finished the route! Then, of course, there is the frequent reports of sea cliff collapses, even taking complete villages over time. Cliffs, like the mountains themselves, are monuments to erosion. Their permanence is an illusion.
I remember the route well, on a small promontory of rock below the main cliff, having done it about a year before it fell - it had a big off-width crack in the lower half that required stemming techniques to get up it. Evidently that crack became just a little too off-width and succumbed to Big G, as all rocks eventually do…
In VK6 we have at least one SOTA mountain that
is being quarried as it is one big lump of iron ore. It is likely the summit will get removed and shipped to China before it is activated. Being a mine site if you aren’t a staff member of the mining company or know one very well, you have very little chance of getting access.
A couple of our WA open cut gold mines have had enough spoil removed to make several SOTA peaks near the mines. The Super Pit at Kalgoorlie is over 600 m deep, 1.5 km wide and 3.5 km long. The Boddington mine is now even bigger. Mines On The Air?
These things happen, sometime with no warning.
Every time we visit family in Penticton, BC we stop at the highway rest stop just outside Hope, BC. Somewhere under there there are still two bodies buried in the 1965 landslide. Hope Slide - Wikipedia