Rating avalanche size on the D-scale

A video to start discussion about how we rate avalanche size on the D-scale. The D-scale is an assessment of the destructive potential of an avalanche. Sizes range from D1 (relatively harmless to people) to D5 (could gouge the landscape, largest snow avalanche known). A D4 avalanche could destroy a railway car, large truck, several buildings, or a substantial amount of forest.

By Bruce Jamieson, Montse Bacardit, Ethan Greene and Ian Tomm.

Bruce Jamieson started on the pro patrol at the Fernie ski area in 1980. After six winters of avalanche work at ski areas, he started graduate studies at the University of Calgary, focusing on field studies of avalanches including snowpack tests. As a professor of Civil Engineering from 1997 to 2015, Bruce managed field-based research on snow and avalanches. The research program attracted a remarkable team of avalanche research technicians and graduate students, who had their heads and hands in the snow daily. Now, when not sliding on snow or riding a two-wheeler on dirt trails, he works as an avalanche consultant and educator.