A skier was killed between the pistes in Chabanon, a ski station close to Digne-les-Bains in the Alpes de Haute-Provence. The avalanche occurred at 12h45 at around 1,600 meters in a valley situated under a chair lift between two pistes.
Two men in their twenties were caught and buried by the slide. Two police helicopters were sent to the scene with four avalanche dog handlers and nine mountain police from their base in Briançon. They were joined by 20 firemen and 30 other volunteers on the scene. A probe search was mounted. The two skiers were found at 14h00, one of the skiers was found alive.
A 33 year old Parisian skier fell to his death in the late morning when skiing off-piste in la Toussuire (Savoie). The skier was trying to jump rapids of a river but ended up landing on rocks.
After a long cold spell there has been considerable snowfall in the last week accompanied by strong winds. The avalanche risk is 4 out of 5 in many areas and skiers are warned to either avoid going off piste or to exercise extreme caution.
Uncle Bill reports on the Camp2Camp forum that on the 23/1, two female ski mountaineers were involved in a slab avalanche in Bernex in the Chablais mountain range. The accident happened at 1600m close to the piste la pointe de Pelluaz (currently closed for technical reasons). The slab was 50 m wide and 30cm thick and the skier was buried under 1m of snow. The victim was found thanks to her avalanche transceiver.