A snow boarder was killed today by an avalanche near to the Alpes Maritimes resort of Pra Loup. Claude Sauze, a 60 year old retired schoolteacher and resident of Nice was on a closed piste in the Vallon de Chancelaye between the resorts of Allos la Foux and Pra Loup.
These two resorts are ordinarily linked by lifts and pistes. A skier on the ridge above the valley gave the alert at 13h00 after seeing tracks disappearing into the avalanche.
The boarder had bought a lift pass at Allos on Saturday. He was found at 15h00 by a team of 25 rescuers assisted by a number of dogs. He had been buried by an avalanche measuring 300 by 150 meters. The search and recovery operation lasted over an hour in difficult conditions.
According to the Police in Digne the victim was climbing the north side of the valley on foot with the possible intention of rejoining the ridge. The risk was given as 3 on a scale of 5. Recent rain, combined with high temperatures and fresh snowfall on the night of the 28th has increased the avalanche danger in the Alps.