Avalanche A Race Against Time

Return to: Avalanche Survival Curve

Zero Hour

Three experienced skiers were caught by an avalanche at the Eau d’Olle near to the l'Alpe d'Huez ski resort. The visibility was limited which stopped the rescue services coming directly to the scene of the accident.

+2 minutes

Lionel called the rescue services then turned off his mobile phone. Volo started to zig-zag the avalanche deposit trying to pick up a signal. Lionel skied down to search the point where they suspected that their companion, Serge, was buried.

+7 minutes

Lionel gets a signal and Volo joins him.

+10 minutes

Lionel's analog transceiver, an Orthovox F1, is at its maximum volume, Serge must be directly below them. Volo's digital confirms this. A probe search localises Serge, who is buried 1m60 under the slide. They begin digging a hole 1.5 meters from the centre of the probe. This will leave them room to work and will give 45 degrees sides.

+22 minutes

The top of Serge's hat appears.

+28 minutes

Serge's head is free, he begins to regain consciousness and starts talking.

+35 minutes

Serge is finally freed from the slide.

+45 minutes

The party is overflown by two helicopters from the Isère and Savoie mountain police. They helicopters land in the valley, the conditions are too bad. The party have to ski down under there own steam. Serge is very weak.

Categories: Snow Safety