This is an archive of the old forum

News | Gear | Ski Areas | Hiking | Mountain Biking
Powered by Google™
Another death in the Malpasset
Posted: 02 March 2010 03:56 PM  
Total Posts:  11
Joined  2009-12-02

The Gorges de Malpasset (bad passage) really do seem to be aptly named. The Dauphine Libere has reported another death. The gorges are at the top of Val d’Isere and let you ski down from the Col Pers the Pisaillas glacier to the St Charles bridge at the Fornet. The route is only skiable in the spring once it has been filled in by avalanches.

According to the DL four Germans, a father and his three children got stuck at the gorges yesterday around 3pm. Two of the group tried to climb up to reach the summer path leaving the two others to wait for help. After removing skis one of the children slid and fell over cliffs into the river. The fall proved to be fatal for him. The second climber was also in a dangerous position when he was plucked to safety by piste patrollers aboard a SAF helicopter.

Few in Val d’Isere will forget the 19th March 2008 when 26 people had to be rescued by helicopter from the gorges.

Even when the gorges are filled in you have to remember that you are effectively skiing on a 1km snow bridge. In April 2007 a female skier fell through the snow and drowned in the river below.

Please, if you are skiing in the Espace Killy check with the piste patrol at la Fornet to see if the gorges are passable, normally there are signs up on the Pisaillas too.

Posted: 03 March 2010 11:52 PM   [ # 1 ]  
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2008-01-26

That’s a good warning, and so carefully explained.

I hadn’t heard about that gorge being winter trap.
I’ve only been there later in spring—in a year when there was too little snow to even consider to skiing it—so after two nights and days of nice ski touring on nice snow at Refuge Prariond higher up, we took the summer hiking trail back down to our car.


Posted: 04 March 2010 03:29 AM   [ # 2 ]  
Total Posts:  18
Joined  2009-02-10

There have been various warnings that the gorge was impassable posted around resort since mid Jan when a French guy was fatally swept into the river there by a small slide as reported on here. Even one at the top of Toviere in Tignes which faced you as you got off the aeroski. Despite this I have still seen people going into there. I do not know if there was a warning at the entrance to the gorge off the glacier or if the warnings have been removed in the last week as I have not been out much in the last few days due to the weather.

I have to say though, that it is only through forums like this that you get to hear about these incidents. Virtually no news in resort is easily available. Bad PR I guess.