Two local ski tourers were caught by an avalanche in the Vallon des Pontets near to Saint-Martin-Vésubie (French Alpes Maritimes) in the early afternoon today. One of the skiers was able to free himself from the snow after 45 minutes effort. He was able to locate his colleague using his avalanche beacon but was unable to dig him out. Instead he descended into the valley to give the alert. Poor weather delayed any intervention. The rescue helicopter was unable to reach the scene of the slide and the risk of secondary avalanches complicated the search. Finally the snowboarder was localized at nightfall but had succumbed to his injuries.
The local authorities have warned backcountry travellers to take extreme care if venturing into the mountains due to the recent snowfall and thaw.
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