Italian killed by Mont-Blanc avalanche

A Italian woman has been killed by an avalanche this afternoon on Mont-Blanc while touring on skis. The accident occurred at 15h00 in the Grandes Jorasses sector close to the Leschaux hut. The sector can be accessed from the Leschaux glacier which joins the Mer de Glace. There have been 55 avalanche deaths this season in France.

mont blanc avalanche

The woman was in a group of dozen skiers when the avalanche struck. She was taken some 50 meters. No-one else was hurt in the slide. The avalanche risk was Moderate (2/5) at the time of the accident with the zero isotherm around 2800 meters altitude with a good overnight refreeze above 2100 meters. However given the amount of snow the avalanche bulletin put ski mountaineers on guard for afternoon/evening descents or climbs to refuges. The principal risk being wet snow slides as the snow pack humidifies to some depth in the warm conditions. Avalanches and accidents caused by cornice collapse remain a possibility.

Posted by on Sunday, 23 April, 2006 at 08:38 PM

A ski mountaineer was killed this morning by a serac fall in the Couloir Cordier in the Aiguille Verte sector of Mont Blanc. The man, in his 50s was skiing alone around 3,000 meters. Witnesses alerted the PGHM in Chamonix. There was a large fall of seracs on the 7th of April, fortunately no-one was on the route at the time. A difficult route, the Cordier was first skied by Yves Détry on the 6th March 1977.

Posted by davidof on  Monday, 24 April, 2006  at 09:32 PM

Three skiers were also involved in an avalanche in the Chaudefour valley close to the ski resort of Le Mont Dore on Sunday. The avalanche, a wet snow slide, occured at 10h30 by the Aiguille des Moines. One skier was caught by the slide but managed to stay on the surface and was rescued in a state of shock but otherwise unhurt.

Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 26 April, 2006  at 12:41 AM

An update on the Lechaux avalanche. It appears that the group, who may have been with a guide, were trying to reach the Lechaux refuge by the summer path. According to a member of the safest route during the winter/spring season is via a couloir directly below the refuge.

Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 26 April, 2006  at 09:42 PM
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