Posted on: 2023-12-11 08:38:56 by davidof

Series of minor avalanches across the French Alps this weekend

On Saturday at la Clusaz in the Haute-Savoie a group of five ski tourers triggered a slide in the west facing Combe de Tardevant at around 2100 meters altitude. The incident occured at around 11h00. Two skiers were partially buried by the slide and a 5th person was completely buried. She was dug out by other skiers without injury. The skiers were taken to hospital in Annecy by helicopter for a checkup. The avalanche risk was 2 rising to 3 (Considerable). Principally windblown snow above 2200 m in North to East slopes with wet snow avalanches in the afternoon given the rising temperatures. Nothing particuarly worrying for the route the skiers were taking.

In the Hautes Alpes there were two incidents involving groups of ski tourers. The first at the Tête de la Lauzière near the pic de Monbrison at Argentière-la-Bessée at 2900 meters on a south-east slope. It appears to be a small slab just under the col that carried three of a group of four ski tourers down a steep slope. The skiers were not buried by the slide but suffered from shock. The second incident at Orcière under the col de Freissinières on a SE slope at 2750m. The group remained on the surface but were carried several hundred meters. Although there were no injuries the CRS said that the skiers were suffering from shock. The avalanche risk was 3 above 2000 meters with the bulletin warning of probable large accumulations formed by the strong north-west wind.

Some other avalanches were reported to the As mentioned in the avalanche bulletin the problem appears to have been fresh snow accompanied by very strong winds rather than any persistent weak layers in the snowpack.