France has been blitzed by fresh snow again this weekend giving an end of season bonanza to many resorts but bringing tragedy to Gourette in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. At 10h40 a skier(+) was buried by an avalanche on the north-west slopes of the 2000 meter Pène Méda. He was just meters from the ski pistes when he fell crossing avalanche debris, at the same time a large slab of snow broke away from cliffs above covering the man. An eyewitness gave the alert and a major search and rescue operation got underway.
Some 90 rescue workers including the PGHM, firebrigade and pisteurs searched for close to 2 hours before finding the man, aged 24. The avalanche occurred under cliffs in an area reputed to be dangerous during and immediately after fresh snow. The man was in a state of cardio-vascular arrest and advanced hypothermia. His heart was restarted by a doctor at the scene and he taken to hospital in Pau where he died later. The avalanche risk was rated as considerable at the time.
additional information: [url=http://www.skipass.com]http://www.skipass.com[/url]
(+) not a snowboarder as we reported yesterday