Gourette Avalanche Kills Meters from Piste

France has been blitzed by fresh snow again this weekend giving an end of season bonanza to many resorts but bringing tragedy to Gourette in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. At 10h40 a skier(+) was buried by an avalanche on the north-west slopes of the 2000 meter Pène Méda. He was just meters from the ski pistes when he fell crossing avalanche debris, at the same time a large slab of snow broke away from cliffs above covering the man. An eyewitness gave the alert and a major search and rescue operation got underway.

Some 90 rescue workers including the PGHM, firebrigade and pisteurs searched for close to 2 hours before finding the man, aged 24. The avalanche occurred under cliffs in an area reputed to be dangerous during and immediately after fresh snow. The man was in a state of cardio-vascular arrest and advanced hypothermia. His heart was restarted by a doctor at the scene and he taken to hospital in Pau where he died later. The avalanche risk was rated as considerable at the time.

additional information: [url=http://www.skipass.com]http://www.skipass.com[/url]
(+) not a snowboarder as we reported yesterday

Posted by on Sunday, 17 April, 2005 at 07:34 PM

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