Mystery of bodies in the woods

The bodies of two skiers have been found yesterday evening at the foot of a couloir in la Grave. The first body was discovered by a mountain guide in the vallon d’Orcière at 2000 meters altitude. A helicopter search of the area by the High Mountain Police from Briançon discovered a second body 100 meters higher up at the foot of the cliff face.

The man were not on the standard route but a variant that takes a steep and enclosed couloir. One theory the police are working on is that the men were in les Deux Alpes and skied over to la Grave by mistake. They would have crossed the Girose glacier before descending the vallon d’Orcière towards the Fréaux woods. The men were not properly equipped for a descent of the couloir which has a number of cliff bands and ice falls. Last Friday three young Belgium snowboarders had a narrow escape after becoming lost in the Fréaux after descening from les Deux Alpes.

The police still have to find the identity of the men, one aged in his 20s and the other 40s. They had no identity papers and no one has been reported missing in either la Grave or les Deux Alpes. If you have any information contact the Gendarmerie at la Grave.

Posted by davidof on Wednesday, 13 February, 2008 at 02:41 PM

The lecturer, Loïc Forest, working at Rouen university was in the Racapé when he fell. The photo is from the summer but it is not the kind of route you would take during wet weather and must be very delicate in winter, particuarly at the moment. The police found his body at 1am on Friday morning and had to use crampons and ice-axes to negotiate the passage which is a narrow path that negociates a series of scrambles which are secured with cables (probably snow covered in winter). The ski descent avoids this route, descending a gorge at the bottom left of the face.

The young man had fallen over a 30 meter cliff then a further 200 meters down the mountain. I have no idea what equipment he had but it is the kind of route where crampons would be essential for me. A very sad story, especially for his family and Lyon and colleagues in Rouen.

Posted by davidof on  Saturday, 23 February, 2008  at 10:16 PM

What an absolutely unecessary and tragic waste of life.

What price a guide and basic equipment.

Posted by  on  Saturday, 01 November, 2008  at 02:57 AM
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