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Avalanche Warnings Issued For Victoria, And For A Bloody Good Reason Too

This incredibly dangerous slide occurred on Tuesday morning near Mt Hotham.

08/08/2017 1:20 PM AEST | Updated 08/08/2017 1:48 PM AEST

Avalanche warnings have been issued in Victoria. Yes, Victoria, Australia. And the picture above of an avalanche just outside the boundaries of Mt Hotham ski resort in Victorian shows why.

As we reported on Monday, NSW and Victorian alpine regions copped as much as a 130cm of snow over four days in the biggest blizzard in a decade or more. Those are the sort of snow totals you usually only see in mountainous regions overseas, where avalanches are common.

But when it snows this much, or even a little less, Australia has avalanches too. Victorian Emergency Services issued this rare warning on Monday night.

Australian avalanches can be lethal. The most recent avalanche fatalities came in 2014 when two snowboarders were swept to their deaths in the Victorian back country. The first recorded avalanche death in Australia occurred in 1956 in NSW.

The scale of the avalanche depicted in this story is put in context by the two skiers circled in red in the picture below.

ELI GREIG

That pic was taken by skier Eli Greig. Here's his Instagram account.

"It occurred on an easterly aspect near [an area just outside Mt Hotham] called The Drift Cliffs," Greig told HuffPost Australia. "It had a large crown wall and ran out to the creek below."

For the record, a "crown wall" is the wall of snow left behind that shows the depth of snow that slid. It looks to be well over a metre high in this image.

Here's a wider view, taken by someone who says it was skier-triggered. It is unclear whether the skiers in the image were the ones involved, although their zig-zag tracks suggest they climbed upwards from down near where the slide stopped.

We'll keep you updated if we hear more about this particular slide. In the meantime, if you're lucky enough to be visiting the snow right now, it would pay to heed the warnings, and:

"Avoid activities such as skiing, snowboarding, or hiking in remote areas of the Alps as there is an increased risk of avalanches. The safest area for skiing and winter activities is within the patrolled resort areas."

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