French Avalanche analysis for winter 2010/2011

During the 2010-2011 season in France there were 29 avalanche fatalities in 19 incidents. On the face of it a fairly typical year. However the overall figures hide a concentration of fatal avalanches in the border region with Italy and in the months of December and March which saw 58% of fatal incidents. Ski touring incidents as well as the seriousness of incidents both continued the recent upward trend.

rescue helicopter

In over a third of the incidents reported to the last season (fatal and non-fatal) more than one person was taken by the slide. Even more worryingly 50% of the fatal incidents involved multiple victims. There are clearly improvements to be made with group management (safe stopping places, group spacing when skiing and climbing) as well as route choice. Also of note were at least two fatal incidents where airbags were deployed as well as other more successful deployments, although some on clearly major routes in marginal conditions. Airbags are moving into the mainstream for both off piste skiing and ski touring but the number of deployments compared to market penetration may indicate that some users are taking greater risks.

Posted by davidof on Friday, 25 November, 2011 at 04:17 PM

Hi David. Am trying to email you but your email addresses keep bouncing back.... Please could you check your email config. I was wondering when the Avalanche Bulletin Translations were coming back online?

Posted by  on  Tuesday, 06 December, 2011  at 05:45 PM
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