Two Dutch snowboarders have been killed in the Grandes Rousses area in the ski resort of l’Alpe d’Huez after apparently getting disorientated while riding off-piste.
The two boarders, a 29 year old man and a 25 year old woman were on their first day of a week’s vacation. They were riding above the large Grandes Rousses cliff complex. Although there are a couple of recognised itineraries through the cliffs, the area is extremely dangerous and has been the scene of a number of dramatic accidents. There are signs on the edge of the piste warning of the dangers.
The snowboarders, who were apparently not familiar with the terrain, were in the sector known as the Plates when they were blocked at 2,150 meters altitude. Walkers visiting the popular Chalet du Lac Besson witnessed the tragic events. The two boarders desperately attempted to climb back up a very steep slope on foot before losing their grip and plunging 80 meters over cliffs. Alerted by mobile phone the rescue services were rapidly on the scene but they could do nothing for the man. The woman was taken to hospital in a critical condition and died soon after.