A 58 year old French man has been killed by an avalanche skiing off piste on the south side of the Grande Rochette (2508 meters) summit. The alarm was received at 12h30. Members of the piste service assisted two skiers but a third skier was missing, the man was not wearing an avalanche beacon. A large search operation with 100 rescuers: piste patrollers, mountain rescue and ski instructors was put in place with probe lines. They were assisted by 6 avalanche rescue dogs. The victim was located using a Recco transceiver and probe just before 13h00. Recovered in a state of cardio vascular arrest piste workers, later assisted by a doctor who had been flown to the scene, were unable to revive him.
The slide was up to 50 cm deep and measured 250x150 meters. It occurred at around 2300 meters altitude.. It has stopped in a run out zone where the debris was a couple of meters deep. The avalanche bulletin had announced a risk of 4 (High) in particular during the night of Thursday to Friday as some 30 cm of humid fresh snow stabilized (refreeze), dropping to 3 (Considerable) over the course of the day. It warned of some skier triggered slides that could potentially be quite deep over 2000/2200 meters altitude formed under the W/NW winds.
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