A ski tourer who set out alone on Sunday morning for a ski tour in the Ruchère sector of the Chartreuse mountain range has been found dead this morning on the west side of the Petit Som after an all night search by members of the CRS (mountain rescue police). Le Ruchère is the starting point for popular ski tours to the Grand and Petit Som.
Le Grand Som
The body of the 50 year old was localized by a team in the Civil Security helicopter based at Domene. His body was under an avalanche at around 1600 meters altitude. He was not wearing an avalanche beacon. The avalanche risk was High (4/5) and around 50cm of snow had fallen accompanied by strong winds from the North on Saturday and Sunday. In the PisteHors snow and avalanche report we had noted the presence of soft slabs in the Chartreuse on Saturday and
One dead, two injured after trainee guides trigger avalanche at Serre Chevalier
Two off-piste skiers were injured and another killed by an avalanche just after midday today above Puy St-Pierre close to the ski resort of Serre Chevalier in the Hautes-Alpes. The accident happened under the summit of the Prorel mountain at around 2550 meters altitude at around 13h00. The group consisting of 15 trainee guides with two supervisors had climbed the final meters to the summit and were skiing the face west of the Prorel, a couloir of some 300 meters angled at 40° when they triggered an avalanche. Four of the group were hit by the slide. One of the guides, Damien Charignon, aged 35 and resident of Briançon, was found in a serious conditions and died later in hospital. Apart from skiing M. Charignon was known as a talented climber.
The other two skiers were lightly injured. The large rescue operation involved members of the PGHM from Briançcon, two helicopters and three avalanche dogs. The avalanche risk was High (4/5) at the time of the accident. The prefet (state governor) has reminded off-piste skiers and and snowboarders to exercise extreme vigilance. This brings to 18 the number of skiers killed in the Southern Alps this year, 9 in the Hautes-Alpes alone. PH.com spoke to a local professional in Serre Chevalier who told us that the conditions were extremely dangerous, he suggested that even wooded routes should be avoided until the conditions have stablised.
Avalances in Chartreuse and Drôme
The wooded slopes of the Chartreuse are often considered a safe option on high risk days but there have been a number of other avalanches without serious consequences on Sunday in the Chartreuse and 3 cross country skeirs were hit by a slide at Lus la croix haute in the Drôme department, one suffered from a broken arm. The slide measured 40 by 100 meters. They were rescued by a group of snow shoers.