5 soldiers, part of the 2nd foreign legion regiment based in the Vaucluse department were caught in an avalanche at 10h30 this morning during a training exercise. 1 of the soldiers died in the avalanche. The victims were rescued by their comrades before the CRS de Montagne arrived on the scene. Another soldier, suffering from hypothermia, was taken to hospital in Grenoble. The group were experienced and were on a ski touring exercise to pass their Mountain team leader qualification.
The accident occured near the ski resort of Valloire in the Haute-Maurienne in the combe de l’Aiguille Noire (06 28’ 12"E, 45 06’ 45"N). The avalanche risk was 2 at the time and the bulletin warned that skiers were at risk on north sector slopes from a few small slabs buried under 15cm of fresh snow. Avalanche expert Alain Duclos, who is based in the area, had warned of the presence of some isolated weak layers earlier in the month.
In the Pyrenees a 23 year old man has been missing since Sunday at Saint-Lary-Soulan. He had set out off piste with a friend a friend who had to leave early. The alert was only given by colleagues on Tuesday morning. The region has been pounded by fresh snow and search operations, without helicopter support were described as extremely difficult. The avalanche risk was 3/5 (Considerable) on Sunday.