Ski tourers found dead in Hautes-Alps Avalanche

The bodies of two missing skier tourers were recovered after a search by the PGHM yesterday. They were on vacation at the gite de Souliers in the Queyras and had set out on a ski tour towards the lac de Souliers. Their wives became concerned when they did not return in the evening.

souliers avalanche
Avalanche above the lac de Souliers (c)PGHM

At 19h00 the PGHM from Briançon dispatched their rescue helicopter in the direction of the col Tronchet (2347m). They picked up a signal from one of the men’s avalanche beacon’s at 2400 meters altitude. His body was found under more than two meters of snow. The second man was found later by an avalanche dog, his beacon was no longer working. The avalanche risk was 4 on a scale of 5 (high) above 2000 meters and the avalanche bulletin noted 20-25cm of fresh snow and the presence of many slabs formed under the action of the wind resting on an unstable base. It seems that the slopes above the avalanche had been stripped of snow and this had been deposited lower down.

The men were experienced ski tourers equipped with standard backcountry rescue equipment. Reports suggest that a slab avalanche hit them from above and may have been remotely triggered by the men’s passage. The men were named as Jean-Pierre Brosse, 51 from Maxilly in the Haute-Savoie and Vincent Ginot, 45, a research engineer from Avignon.

There was also an avalanche at Serre Chevalier 1400 in the couloir de la Balme involving a party of seven skiers. Members of the group were able to rescue the buried skiers but a Swedish man was airlifted to hospital in Briançon by the PGHM. Another avalanche at Montgenèvre in the middle of the afternoon involved a large search by the piste patrol by no skier was found.

The skier who was buried by an avalanche on the Glacier de Pendant at Chamonix never recovered consciousness and died later in hospital. In total four people have died over the past couple of days. 

Posted by on Thursday, 04 January, 2007 at 07:56 AM

Here is some Beta from Henry Schniewind in the Savoie.

Please go to one of his talks if you get the chance, the couse schedule is here:

Posted by  on  Thursday, 04 January, 2007  at 11:08 AM

The blog of Jean-Pierre Brosse (see Queyras avalanche above) showing some of his climbing photographs

Posted by davidof on  Friday, 09 February, 2007  at 11:46 AM
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