A 68 year old ski instructor based in Aussois in the Maurienne area has been killed by an avalanche on Saturday while collecting data for the electricity supply network: ERDF. The victim left home at midday with the aim of spending the afternoon working but he failed to return.
The rescue services found his body in the early evening near the Dent Parrachée refuge at 2300m. The avalanche risk was 4/5. ERDF collects snowfall data in order to calculate generating capacity for the hydroelectric network. 19 people have died in 12 avalanche incidents in France so far this season.
A 35 year old British snowboarder is missing in the Verdet sector in Méribel. He went missing on Saturday and despite an extensive search on Sunday, complicated by fresh snowfall, no trace of the man has been found. There is also no trace of a walker who has been missing in the Bauges since Thursday. The man had intended to bivouak near the Col de la Cochette.
A ski instructor has been injured by an avalanche in la Tania skiing off piste on Friday. The victim suffered a leg injury and was taken to hospital in Moutiers. He was not equipped witn an avalanche beacon and was skiing in a known avalanche couloir. Three French skiers were caught by an avalanche in the Pré du Rocher sector in Chamonix. One was buried under 150cm of snow but was rescued by his friends. None of the group were injured although the buried skier was taken to hospital in Chamonix.
Local authorities in the Pays de Gex have warned backcountry travellers to avoid venturing at altitude into the Jura range for the next few days due to an extremely unstable snowpack. The Haute-Savoie prefecture has made a similar warning for the department. The avalanche risk remains at 4/5 for most of the French Alps and at 5/5 in the Pyrenees although there will be some stabilization during the course of Monday. A large avalanche at Gourette in the Pyrenees damaged two ski lifts.
There have been 11 fatalities in 7 avalanche incidents in Switzerland since the 29th January. All at risk 3. There were also two fatalities in separate incidents in the Black Forest area of Germany. The first fatalities since 1980 in the area.