The cause of the avalanche in North Ossetia was a glacier sliding from the top of Dzhimarai-khokh at a height of four thousand meters down to the "Kolka" glacier. This, in its turn, caused the throbbing ice giant sliding onto the Maily glacier tongue and the glaciers further sliding down to the Genaldon river-bed. The head of the geological service of the North Ossetian Natural Resources Administration, Alexander Polkvov, expressed this opinion when speaking with journalists.
Proceeding from the aerovisual examination data, Polkvov came to a conclusion that the mud-and-stone-and-ice avalanche had reached the rock canyon and "the Karmadon gate" near the upper tunnel, he said. The narrow canyon admitted only a liquid mud-and-stone part, while the iceberg's major part stopped. The total ice block length equals four kilometres, with its breadth ranging from 500 meters to one kilometre.
The height of the ice in this place is estimated at 70 meters, while near "the Karmadon gate" it has reached 160-170 meters. The total size of the ice block equals about 80,000,000 cubic meters.