Three avalanches in Haute-Savoie

Three avalanche incidents in the Haute-Savoie have resulted in minor injuries but are a reminder that the new snow has formed new slabs resting on some fragile layers at altitude on north sector slopes.

At Flaine a member of the piste patrol was caught with his avalanche dog but rapidly dug out by colleagues. At La Clusaz the incident was once again in the notorious hotspot of the col de Bellachat. Two skiers, who had climbed from the Col de Balme triggered a slide close to the col. One of the skiers was 300 meters over cliffs but managed to remain on the surface of the slide. Alerted by the friend the rescue services arrived by helicopter but the man apparently was only suffering very minor injuries. There was also an incident at Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce.

The avalanche bulletin gave the risk as 3 on a scale of 5 (Considerable) and noted numerous slabs on north facing slopes in the Aravic and Chablais mountain ranges. The slabs were around 30 to 40cm thick and poorly bonded to an old layer of non-cohesive snow. With further fresh snow expected over the weekend skiers and snowboarders should take extreme care when venturing off-piste and think carefully about route selection, in particular avoiding open north sector slopes.

Posted by davidof on Friday, 09 February, 2007 at 08:31 PM

There was another avalanche incident on the 12th February at Saint Nicolas de Véroce. The skier took a bowl with large accumulations of fresh snow after having been advised not to do the run by a member of the piste patrol. He triggered a slab avalanche after jumping a 3 meter cliff. He was carried 200m down the slope losing a ski but suffered no injuries. Despite being badly shaken the skier was able to descend to the resort on his remaining ski. The man was a friend of a young skier from the village who died almost 12 months ago.

see also:

Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 14 February, 2007  at 04:01 PM
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