Unfortunately avalanches are not the only dangers encountered in the mountains. With the current fine but very cold weather backcountry travellers need to be very careful on steep, icy slopes. In the Cantal department the body of a 35 year old snowshoer was found this morning after an extensive search by the emergency services.
Alerted by the man’s wife when he failed to return home the search lasted until early this morning before resuming at first light with the aid of a helicopter. The man’s body was found at 1400 meters altitude between the Puy-Mary and Peyre-Arse close to the ski resort of Le Lioran. Despite wearing snowshoes equipped with crampons he appears to have lost his footing on ice and slid colliding with a tree. The accident is similar to one at the beginning of the year in the nearby Le Mont Dore area which killed one snow shoer and seriously injured a second.
This message also applies to ski pistes with some very nasty accidents over the last few days including an English child who collided with a post at the edge of the piste at les Deux Alpes. The annual government safety campaign has started with the Christmas holidays, the key message being to control your speed and to watch out for skiers (and objects) further down the slope.
http://www.jeunesse-sports.gouv.fr/actualite/affiche-montagnehiver2006.pdf - Visuals for the 2006 campaign.
Snowshoer killed in Massif Central – 15 Jan 2005