Three deaths in avalanches

An off-piste skier has been killed by an avalanche at Tignes around midday in the Grattalu sector of Val Claret. The avalanche occurred at 2,150 meters altitude in a sector between two open ski runs. The 41 year old French skier was not wearing an avalanche beacon and the poor visibility made it hard for the rescue services to localize the slide.

An avalanche dog was finally able to recover the body in the early afternoon. At la Plagne a lone British skier died in an avalanche at 2300 meters. The alert was given by his wife when he failed to return to the resort in the early evening. The body was found after an extensive search at 2h30 on Wednesday morning; the missing skiers legs were visible on the surface of the slide. He had been swept into a terrain trap very close to the the Aroles run. His hands free lift pass had recorded the last lift he had used and gave rescuers an idea of the area to search. A 20 year old from the Maine et Loire also died in an avalanche monoskiing off-piste at le Corbier in the Maurienne. His friends alerted the piste patrol at the end of the afternoon when they realised that the skier had not returned to the resort. After an extensive search using a helicopter his body was found in the early evening at around 1800 m on north east facing slopes under Epaule du Corbier (2123m).

The avalanche risk was High (4/5) today with a lot of avalanche activity and the presence of fragile layers in the snow pack coupled with large accumulations of fresh snow since last Wednesday. The bulletin warned of dangers on most aspects with large snow slabs above 1800 m in the Haute-Tarentaise. The bulletin recommended extreme prudence by both professional and amateurs when venturing off-piste.

At Alpe d’Huez there were an avalanches in the Perrins couloirs at Vaujany and on the col du Cluy in the Auris sector. Three off-piste skiers triggered a large slab in the Perrins but managed to escape the slide. On the col du Cluy one skier was buried but was rescued by his friends. There were no injuries in either incident. In the Belledonne mountains a ski tourer triggered a slab 70cm deep which caught two skiers below. Both remained on the surface and escaped without injury. Another off-piste skier was seriously injured at les Menuires due to a fall.

Additional information thanks to Alpine Experience

Posted by davidof on Tuesday, 13 February, 2007 at 05:26 PM

The British skier has been named as Martin Gladman.

Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 14 February, 2007  at 02:59 PM

The Ski club of Great Britains’s safety advisor, Nigel Shepherd, has written this
avalanche risk advice.

Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 14 February, 2007  at 04:58 PM

sad news...two more deaths, in st anton, rendl, today. Rendl is pretty notorious and the risk was said to be substantial. two young swedes. Here’s a link but in german, try running it through google translation tool for more info or not if you read german

Posted by  on  Wednesday, 14 February, 2007  at 05:22 PM

I had to dig out a British boarder, on the same day, buried to the waist at La Plagne (Champagny) sector, after he had triggered a slide, within sight of the piste.

I was alerted by two women screams; He had come to a stop on a slope and triggered the slide. He was a teenage school boy, who had been left behind by other ‘friends’ as he was unable to keep up. No ARVA, no sense and seemingly no off-piste knowledge. He was quite shocked and I imagine more so when news of the later death emerged.

Posted by  on  Wednesday, 21 February, 2007  at 11:48 AM
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