Four climbers killed by Pyrenees avalanche

Four climbers, described as “very experienced”, have been killed after falling on the Pic du Midi. It appears the group triggered a small snow slide as they were climbing towards the summit on a 45-50° slope. The climbers were at 2700 meters on the west side of the mountain in the top section of the couloir de Chiroulet.

It appears that the climbers were climbing using crampons on two ropes. The first pair were taken down the slope by a small surface slab and swept the second pair of the face. The avalanche risk was 2 (moderate) at the time. The climbers were local to the area and included a father and son. The accident occurred yesterday evening but an evacuation was only possible this morning as conditions improved.

Posted by davidof on Friday, 21 March, 2008 at 07:04 PM

Chops down in the Pyrenees sent me this link but I was off-line over the weekend so didn’t get to post it. It is a little more information about the Pic du Midi slide from la Depeche:-

Avalanche risk was two at the time. These kind of accidents are thankfully rare but probably hard to prevent.

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 25 March, 2008  at 02:32 PM

There is a photo and more information on Data Avalanches

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 25 March, 2008  at 11:44 PM

There was a large avalanche in the Couloirs Perrin above Vaujany in the Alpe d’Huez ski area yesterday (Tuesday 25th March). Two skiers were involved with one caught by the slab which occurred at 2000 meters altitude and was some 50cm deep.

However when the rescue services got to the scene the two skiers had vanished leaving no information about the incident. 20 patrollers probe the snow for over an hour to confirm that there were no other victims. Rescue workers stressed that it is important to remain on the scene or to inform the rescue services about the circumstances of any incident.

Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 26 March, 2008  at 10:54 AM
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