The Dauphinée Libérée (DL) recently published an article about the winter sports accident statistics in France for December so far:
An earlier version of the article listed the accidents in a more tabular way, which I found easier to understand. I’ve reconstructed this table, hopefully without too many errors, although I haven’t found a way of formatting it as a table in Pistehors.
Date Resort Activity
5/12 Tignes Off-piste skiing
6/12 Serraval Snow shoeing
13/12 Chartreuse Ski Touring
16/12 Risoul Off-piste boarding
21/12 Val d’Isere Off-piste skiing
26/12 Molines, Queyras Off-piste boarding
Each of these accidents resulted in one fatality. There was also an avalanche accident in Tignes on 12 Dec. The most recent information I’ve found (16 Dec) was that the victim was still in coma.
In an attempt to verify this table, I looked at ANENA, but its website seems to have been redesigned since last season. In the past, a link like http://www.anena.org/5041-bilan-des-accidents.htm used to lead to tables like this for past seasons, and also for the current season so far. Now it only shows a brief summary of last season’s statistics. Does anyone know where the detailed tables have gone?
The official Swiss and Austrian tables of avalanche statistics for the current nivological year are at http://www.slf.ch/praevention/lawinenunfaelle/unfaelle_aktuell/index_DE and http://lawine.tirol.gv.at/schnee-lawineninfo/unfaelle/ respectively. They show two avalanche fatalities in Switzerland since the beginning of December 2012, and four in Austria.
In addition, the DL article talks about fatal winter sports accidents in France that were not related to avalanches. Once again this is my attempt to capture the essence of their table (and, sadly, to bring it up to date).
8/12 La Clusaz Collision with tree Edge of piste
8/12 Chamonix Fall into hole? Edge of piste
22/12 Gourette Fall from chair lift On piste
26/12 Tourmalet Jump On piste boarding
26/12 St Pierre des Forcats Collision with tree Edge of piste skiing
29/12? Ax-3-Domaines Collision with pole On piste skiing
31/12 Gresse-en-Vercors Fall? Snow shoeing
I won’t attempt to draw any conclusions from this table as it’s too small a sample to be statistically significant. In addition, I am uncertain how complete it is (it doesn’t include any collisions between skiers, for example). Nevertheless I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a table like it.
An important point that the DL article makes is that only 90% of tourers and 50% of off-piste skiers/boarders carry the essential minimum equipment: transceiver, shovel and probe. Does anyone know of a reputable study that might be a source for a statement like this? If it’s true, there is still a huge problem over avalanche awareness/education. There are no easy ways to solve it, but I believe information is an important part of any solution. I hope that ANENA’s statistics for the current and previous seasons are still publicly available somewhere, and that it’s my fault that I haven’t been able to find them.