A group of five Italian ski alpinists with a guide were hit by an avalanche today close to the Dôme des Ecrins. The accident occured around 16h30 at 3,500 meters altitude.
A section of a serac broke away starting a powerful and fast avalanche that caught two of the group. The victims were rescued immediately but were already dead.
The route across the North Face of the Écrins is less steep and less crevassed than the more direct route but has a reputation amongst climbers as being more dangerous because of the Serac danger.