Posted on: 2022-03-10 20:00:00 by davidof

Ice climber killed by avalanche at Gavarnie

A climber has been killed after being hit by an avalanche in the north facing Cirque de Gavarnie in the Hautes-Pyrénées, a popular ice climbing spot. The incident occurred around midday at 2000 meters altitude. Although the climber's body has not been recovered due to the risk of secondary slides the fall of over 100 meters and burial was almost certainly fatal according to police sources.

31 year old French national resident in the Landes. The PGHM heliported 3 rescue workers to the scene. A secondary avalanche caught a rescuer and a dog handler but they were able to free themselves from the slide without injury. They recovered a Spanish team and the missing climber's partner but were unable to remain on the ground due to the risk. The avalanche risk was 2 below 2200 meters, 3 above. There had been a little fresh snow overnight accompanied by strong south-west winds. There was a risk of some windslab on north sector slopes but the risk of natural avalanches was described as "rare" in the bulletin.