Respected Houches mountaineers killed by avalanche

Pierre and Marie-Jo Trappier have been killed by an avalanche while ski touring above les Houches. Pierre Trappier was well known amongst climbers and ski tourers. The “couloir Trappier” on the north side of the Aiguille du Goûter bears his name. The two victims were part of a group of five engaged in a couloir in the Cabane des Rognes sector.

Reports suggest that the group had removed their skis to cross a couloir on foot. Three of the group had crossed the couloir around 13h00 when Pierre (70 years) and Marie-Jo (64 years) Trappier triggered a snowslab measuring between 50 and 100cm. The couple were carried 1100 meters. The accident occured at 2750 meters altitude on a steep north facing slope. The victims lived in les Houches.

The avalanche risk was Moderate (2/5) however the bulletin had warned of the possibility of full depth avalanches on steeper south facing slopes before the arrival of poor weather in the middle of the day. The bulletin also mentioned some rarer, large slabs above 2300 meters on north facing slopes which could be triggered by the passage of a group of skiers.

Posted by davidof on Saturday, 15 March, 2008 at 05:06 PM

I don’t have the name of the couloir where Mr Trappier was but wonder whether he was in the Couloir Trappier at the time. This is in the Rognes sector. Good on him for still touring at 70 but a sad end never the less.

Posted by davidof on  Saturday, 15 March, 2008  at 09:27 PM

The Dauphine Libere gives some more details. The Trappiers were in fact going to ski the couloir that bears their name but were on the approach march on a 40 degree slope. Journalist Antoine Chandellier talks of the shock in Les Houches. Pierre Trappier was an architect, many of the chalets in the valley are his designs. Both members of the CAF, prudent mountaineers, Pierre and Marie-Jo Trappier were also very strong in the environmental movement with deep roots in the area. Marie-Jo Trappier was the great grand daughter of one of the first mountain guides.

As Chandeillier concludes “two climbers, united in death as they were in life”.

Posted by davidof on  Sunday, 16 March, 2008  at 10:37 AM - link in French

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 18 March, 2008  at 11:55 AM

The article in the Dauphine is very good and includes a statement from the PGHM describing the avalanche as difficult to predict. Mr Trappier was actually found on the surface, and Mme Trappier under 1m of snow - they had been carried 1100m down the slope. It can be read (in French) here ...

It was a yearly ritual for them to ski their couloir. Very sad indeed.

Posted by  on  Thursday, 20 March, 2008  at 11:33 PM
Page 1 of 1 pages

Comments are now closed



Archive Summary

Forum Posts

Sunday, 19 May, 2013

Girl survives 4 nights out at 4000m on the Vert

Posted by juice at 11:44 PM
• (3) Posts • (1891) views •

Monday, 29 April, 2013

Colorado's deadliest slide in 50 years

Posted by Simon Scott at 01:41 PM
• (3) Posts • (1582) views •


Thursday, 25 April, 2013

PGHM Officer killed near Ref Argentiere

Posted by juice at 01:38 PM
• (5) Posts • (1643) views •

Friday, 19 April, 2013

avalanche in st christophe

Posted by davidski at 11:32 AM
• (1) Posts • (1401) views •

Monday, 15 April, 2013

Avalanche on the Tete de Chevrette, Vallorcine

Posted by Alan Scowcroft at 04:57 PM
• (1) Posts • (1379) views •

Thursday, 11 April, 2013

Alpine Bindings

Posted by djfrost at 10:08 PM
• (10) Posts • (1521) views •