Posted on: 2019-04-30 22:40:19 by davidof

Avalanches and unstable conditions in the Alps

With the fresh snow last week there have been a number of avalanche incidents over the past few days. A reminder that care is needed even in the middle of spring. Two of the incidents occurred in the middle of the afternoon. Fairly late in the day for spring touring.

On Tuesday 30th April the PGHM (Mountain Rescue Services) from Chamonix were called to an avalanche in Val d’Isère. The ski resort is open until the weekend. The incident occurred around 14h00 and the woman was injured after being carried over cliff around 50 meters high. She was accompanied by a High Mountain Guide at the time of the incident. Suffering from an ankle and facial injuries she was taken to hospital in Bourg-Saint Maurice.

On Monday 28th April two season workers were caught by an avalanche in the Orelle sector of Val Thorens at around 15h30. They were skiing and snowboarding a steep, north east facing couloir at 2750 meters altitude located between the the Lory and Croix d'Antide pistes. Carried several hundred meters by the slide and severely injured one of the victims was taken to hospital in Grenoble. The rescue was complicated due to the risk of secondary avalanches in the sector.

On Saturday 27th the Mountain Rescue attended an avalanche under the Crête de Combeynot in theFontenil valley. The group were climbing on touring skis at the time. Two people were buried by the slide but were rescued by the members of the group and eye witnesses. Not seriously injured, the two skiers were taken to hospital by the mountain rescue in Briançon. The avalanche risk was 3/5 (Considerable). The slide occurred on a NW slope at 2900 meters around midday.