The long period of stable weather with warm sunny days and cold clear nights are causing some dangerous conditions for backcountry travellers. South facing resorts such as l’Alpe d’Huez have closed some pistes due to ice and the conditions elsewhere can be dangerous as two snow shoers found to their cost in the Massif Central close to the resort of Le Mont Dore earlier today.
The snowshoers were part of a group on the slopes above the north facing Val de Courre. This steep and wild valley can be reached directly from the base of the Mont Dore pistes. The group was on a steep slope when a man and woman lost their footing on ice and slid 150 meters into boulders. The man was killed by the fall and the woman is in a serious condition. On News Year’s eve a man fell 350 meters on the nearby Val d’Enfer. He was taken to hospital in Clermont Ferrand.
As well as numerous falls on or close to ski pistes last Sunday the Mountain Police (PGHM) had to take a ski tourist to hospital in Grenoble after a fall close to the Crêt du Poulet in the Belledonne mountains. The area is normally used by cross-country skiers.