Avalanches and Vallée Blanche Search

Two ski mountaineers have been hit by an avalanche at 1900 meters on the north-west face of the Grande Turra, a 2800 m peak above the ski resort of Termignon in the Haute-Maurienne. One of the men escaped the slide and was able to rescue his friend who was lightly injured and suffering from the effects of cold.

The men were local to the area. The avalanche risk was three (considerable) at the time. Around half a meter of snow had fallen over the weekend with strong winds from the north. The the avalanche bulletin noted the presence of older windslabs in the Haute Maurienne formed by under the action of south and east winds and recent avalanche activity indicated slabs varying from 10 to 40 cm thickness.

In l’Alpe d’Huez late on Monday a large avalanche hit the Combe Charbonnière piste which was closed at the time. As a precaution 30 members of the piste patrol and rescue services probed the slide in an operation that lasted 3 hours.

In Chamonix the rescue services are looking for Jean-Louis Grégoire, a 49 year old man from the Ain department who has been missing since Monday after setting out for the Vallée Blanche. There have already been some crevasse falls on this route this season. So far an extensive search has not found either the missing man or his car, a grey Audi Quattro with a 01 department number plate. Anyone spotting this car should contact the PGHM in Chamonix.

Posted by on Thursday, 10 March, 2005 at 12:55 AM

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