Two climbers have been hit by an avalanche in the French Ecrins yesterday afternoon. One of the climbers suffered an open fracture to his leg, the other suffered minor injuries to his rib and head but was able to descend to the nearby village of Saint-Christophe-en-Oisans to give the alert. The rescue operation was complicated by poor weather and snow, around 20-30cm fell during the day in the area. The climber was finally brought down to the valley on a sledge around 8pm.
The accident occured as the men descended an icefall in the vallon de la Selle at 2000 meters altitude. The avalanche risk was 3/5 at the time. It is the most serious avalanche incident in France this season.
On New Years day a German skier broke his neck while off piste skiing in the Tougnette sector of les Menuires after a fall. The man was taken to Grenoble hospital with a C-4 fracture to his 4 vertebrae resulting in quadriplegia.