Posted on: 17 April 2017 by davidof

Ski tourer injured by large avalanche in southern alps

Despite generally stable avalanche conditions, the risk is currently between 1 / 2 in the area, two skiers were caught by a large slab avalanche in the Embrunais sector of the Hautes Alpes.

The incident occurred on Sunday morning around 10h00. Two ski tourers triggered a slide that broke over 500 vertical meters near the summit of the Pic de Gros Ferrant at 2 400 meters altitude. One escaped the slide unharmed, the other suffered critical injuries to the legs and hips. Both skiers are local, from the Crots hamlet. The 50 year old victim was taken by hospital by the CRS (Police Mountain Rescue unit) in Gap.

Meteo France said that the snowpack is globally stable but there are some persistent, rare instabilities, in the main as you approach ridges and summits on north facing slopes, especially above 2500/2700 meters altitude. It seems to be the Persistent Weak Layer (PWL) that has caused a number of incidents in a broad arc from the French/Italian border through Switzerland and parts of Austria.

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