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One fatality in avalanche at Val d’Isere
Posted: 21 December 2012 02:50 PM  
Sr. Member
Total Posts:  543
Joined  2006-01-24

Some brief details :

The reports say around the Grand Vallon at Fornet. Three skiers, one buried and recovered by the ski patrol in cardiac arrest later deceased.

 Signature & B&B L’EpicĂ©a, Leysin, Switzerland

Posted: 21 December 2012 04:37 PM   [ # 1 ]  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

Thanks Ian, I’ve been out touring all day, in the Savoie for a change so I looked closely at the Tarentaise bulletin which was risk 4 (moving to 3 during the day) on all slope aspects as I recall. It doesn’t surprise me. Good weather but there is a lot of snow. We had 10cm of fresh from the car park at 1300m and a lot more higher up on a base that is humid from recent high level rain, warm spells. You could easily stick a pole in over 50cm and there are a lot of layers in the snowpack now, quite complicated. We tried to be as conservative as possible (announced risk of 3 in the Maurienne) following shoulders and some very low angled slopes when climbing but all the time there are some huge, snow laden slopes just waiting to pop.

According to Radio Val d’Isere a German couple with a professional from Val d’Isere were caught by an avalanche in the Grands Vallons sector to the north of teh Aiguille. 2 British skiers came to their aid and they were joined by 6 piste patrollers who started searching from the top and bottom of the debris. A 71 year old skier was found in a state of cardio-vascular arrest by one of the patrollers under a meter of snow. The attempted resuscitation for an hour to no avail. The slab was 150 to 180cm deep, 150 meters wide and 300 meters long. There were a number of skiers off piste in the sector at the time.

Val d’Isere were posting risk 3/5 this morning.

Forecast for the sector is sun tomorrow afternoon with the zero iso around 2000 meters. More care needed even if things will start to stabilize. Afternoon on steep slopes to be avoided.

Got to head back out now!