A French ski tourer has been killed this morning in the Queyras. The man was part of a group of 8 ski tourers, all members of the Paris section of the French Alpine Club (CAF). The club has a coach party touring in the area in a trip planned since the start of the season.
The ski party were climbing 2640 meters altitude above the refuge d’Agnel where they had spent the night when they triggered a slab measuring 80x100 meters. The last member of the group, a 62 year old man, was caught by the slide and buried under 150cm of snow. He was recovered by his companions after about 10-15 minutes under the avalanche but despite an hour of heart massage they were unable to revive him. The PGHM from Briançon also assisted in the rescue operation.
A depression is currently tracking across the Mediterranean bringing snow to the eastern Pyrenees as well as the Italian side of the Alps and border areas. The avalanche bulletin gave the risk as 2 (moderate) for the Queyras however it noted significant snowfall in the eastern half of the Queyras accompanied by fairly strong winds which would form new accumulations on a snow-pack with little cohesion. Small slabs could be triggered by a single skier. It also noted new slabs above 2200/2400 formed by recent winds as well as some old slabs at altitude.