Ski tourer killed by Hautes-Alpes avalanche

A ski tourer has been killed by an avalanche close to the col de Malaure in the Abriès range on Saturday. This is the first avalanche fatality in the Hautes-Alpes department this winter. The victim, named as 27 year trainee ski instructor old Alexia Garcin and local to the Queyras, was with two friends. They were on a route they new well but had to change their itinerary due to poor visibility. 

They were hit by a snow slab at 2300 meters, probably formed by the strong winds over the previous days. The avalanche bulletin gave the overall risk as Considerable (3/5) with 10cm of snow falling over the previous 24 hours. However the fresh snow had been accompanied by strong winds from the south-east which had formed numerous thin slabs that were very sensitive to a surcharge. Her two friends were able to locate and recover the victim but their efforts to resuscitate were in vain. The PGHM were also dispatched to the scene.

The skier was from Arvieux and worked in the Aiguilles tourist office. This brings to 4 the number of French avalanche fatalities for the 2007-2008 season, the same figure as the previous year at this time which was a record low for avalanche victims. The avalanche risk is High over much of the French Alps today with heavy snow and strong winds above 1800 meters.

Further Information

Hautes Alpes Avalanche Bulletin

Posted by davidof on Sunday, 06 January, 2008 at 10:10 PM

Apparently 3 died in Formigal, Spanish Pyrenees, in an avalanche over the weekend - first snow for 3 weeks!  5 taken in avalanche and 2 rescued/survived.

Posted by  on  Tuesday, 08 January, 2008  at 06:51 PM
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