Researcher Ben Reuter using the snow micro pen
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Finding the avalanche-causing layer

The 2013-2014 season has been particularly deadly in the Alps in terms of avalanches, with 13 fatalities in Switzerland alone so far.

Researchers from Europe's centre for avalanche forecasting - the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research - are employing new technology to improve their chances of predicting and preventing these disasters.

Here, Ben Reuter from the Swiss Federal Snow and Avalanche Research Institute explains how to find the fragile weak layers that can cause avalanches.

Studying weaknesses in the snow pack helps researchers to forecast which slopes are dangerous.