Piste Patrollers hit by avalanche at Tignes

Two off-duty members of the Tignes piste patrol have been injured, one seriously, by an avalanche shortly after midday today. One of the men, a Tignard, was trapped under the snow for half an hour. He was taken to hospital in a severe state of hypothermia; his body temperature was 28°C. Reports are that the large slide occured under the Petit Col in the Chardonnet Bowl close to the Aiguille Percee.

The other piste patroller, who is on an exchange from an American resort, was recovered after a few minutes under the slide with a dislocated shoulder. He gave a statement to the police saying that they stopped at around 2,500 meters in an off-piste sector when a slide hit them from above. The police wan to establish if the slide was triggered by other skiers. Both men were equipped with avalanche beacons. Normally all the piste patrollers at Tignes are equipped with ABS Avalanche Airbags but it is not known if they were wearing them in this case. The avalanche risk was considerable (3/5) at the time. Meteo France had warned of slabs on open faces with slabs and accumulations of more then 1 meter depth with layers of graupel destabilizing the snowpack.

Posted by on Friday, 05 January, 2007 at 05:09 PM

I was the third person to arrive to help out rescuing both patrollers. There were three people skiing. Bruno (french) and an american were caught under the avalanche and the third one was left on top of the mountain higher up. There were no traces before them and it happens that I had made a video just before it happening and just after. This has been the worst experience I have ever lived. We managed to dig out the american in about 15 minutes but it wasn´t untill much later that we started with Bruno. He is now in severe coma. I would like to recieve information about him. If anybody needs more information about the proceedure we kept just ask. I was there during the hole rescue.

Posted by  on  Sunday, 07 January, 2007  at 09:12 PM

The Ski Club have some further coverage of this incident


Posted by  on  Tuesday, 09 January, 2007  at 05:52 PM

hello, I live tignes and one of the tracker is a friend has me, I would like to know if you had of another information compared to the avalanche please. Thank you. Thibault

Posted by  on  Tuesday, 09 January, 2007  at 09:06 PM

This info dates from the weekend but the hospital in Grenoble were able to get Bruno Faugère’s body temperature back to normal. He suffered no other injuries in the slide but was still in a coma. The other patroller was on an exchange from Telluride in the USA. I will ask JL Tuallon, the piste director, for an update on Mr Faugère’s condition.

Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 10 January, 2007  at 10:10 PM

Just a quick update on the l’Alpe d’Huez incident. This occured in the couloir Perrin in the Alpette sector above Vaujany. The ski touring event (Pyramide d’Oz) was cancelled. The avalanche was a large hard slab slide and one of the men was buried by the debris, fortunately a ski was visible on the surface. All the victims were equipped with avalanche beacons. A member of the patrol said they were lucky not to have been injured by the snow blocks or by rocks close to the surface.

Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 10 January, 2007  at 10:20 PM
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