Science: The White Death

Even as rescuers were searching for the victims of Europe's latest avalanches (see THE WORLD), scientists atop an Alpine mountain were continuing the work that may some day prevent such disasters. They are members of Switzerland's Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, the world's first and foremost scientific establishment dedicated to the study and forecasting of avalanches. Before the institute was established 26 years ago, high above the resort town of Davos in the eternal snows of the 8,000-ft. Weissfluhjoch, knowledge of avalanches consisted mostly of folklore. Now, thanks to the institute's...

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