Event description


On January 18, 1997, in the early afternoon, a large rock slide originated on the �Sperone della Brenva�, a high buttress on the western flank of Mount Blanc, at an elevation of 3,750 m a.s.l. It has been shown that the rock material partly deposited on the Brenva Glacier and partly moved along the glacier surface by mobilizing a significant volume of snow and ice. Total volume was estimated at 7 Mio m3. The run out was approximately 5.5 km with a total fall of 2300 m. Two skiers lost their lives.




2 skiers lost their lives, 10 people were injured, on the opposite side hundreds of conifers were thrown down due to the air wave


Data source


- Barla, G., Dutto, F., Mortara G. (2000): Brenva Glacier rock avalanche of 18 January 1997 on the Mount Blanc Range, Northwest Italy. Landslide News, 13, 2-5.
- Giani, G.P., Silvano, S., Zanon, G. (2001): Avalanche of 18 January 1997 on Brenva Glacier, Mont Blanc Group, Western Italian Alps: an unusual process of formation. Annals of Glaciology, 32, 333 - 338.




A very similar phenomenon occurred in the same area between November 14 and 19, 1920, when two large rockslides triggered along the Brenva Glacier a rock-ice avalanche of 6-7 Mio m3, which dammed the valley and ascended the opposite slope.