Posted on: 10 January 2018 by davidof

Series of avalanches across Alps and Pyrenees

A ski tourer has been killed by an avalanche yesterday on the Pique Poque in the Hautes-Pyrénées near the ski resort of Piau-Engaly. The incident occured in the afternoon at 1600 meters altitude. The 35 year old local man was skiing with a friend but a long way ahead when the avalanche occurred.

He was carried 200 meters by the slide. His friend was apparently unable to start a rescue and alerted the police. An large operation was put in place including avalanche rescue dogs and a doctor. Once on the scene they were able to localize the victim using his beacon but he died at the scene.

In another incident in the same area two ski tourers were caught by an avalanche at 14h30 while skiing back to the trail-head. The incident occurred in the Ilhéou sector clost to Cauterets. One of the skiers was injured and was recovered by his friend but suffering from multiple injuries to his back, shoulder and knee. He was heliported to hospital by the rescue services. The avalanche risk was Considerable (3/5) but the police said the area was not particularly dangerous however they said that both slides were started by the skiers "cutting the slope". All the skiers were equipped with avalanche beacons and snow shovels, experienced and local to the area.

In Tignes a 39 year od British man has been missing since Sunday evening when he went to do "one last run". Around a meter of wind blown snow has fallen since his disappearance. The rescue is centered around where his mobile phone was geolocalized. There are numerous avalanches in the sector. In the Pyrénées-Orientales a "very experienced" local skier has been missing since Saturday after setting out on a ski tour. He was at the summit of Pic Mortiers at 2600 meters when his friend lost sight of him after he tried to recover a ski that had slid on a very steep slope. The missing man has an avalanche beacon.

At Valmeinier a 9 year old girl was hit by a small avalanche on the green Lauzes piste. She was part of a group of kids with instructors. She was recovered without injury as her ski boot was visible on the surface. At nearby Valloire another avalanche crossed the Escargot piste without hitting any skiers.

Despite the risk being 5/5 in Val d'Isere an off piste skier was injured by an avalanche skiing in the Solaise (Super S) sector with a friend. He suffered a knee injured and was rescued by pisteurs. They also intervened to rescue two snowboarders blocked off piste in a couloir on the Bellevarde.


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