4 die in Separate Avalanche Incidents

There were 4 deaths in separate incidents the French Alpes over the weekend with an avalanche risk of 4 posted in the Savoie, Haute-Savoie, Isère, Ecrins (la Grave) and 3 in the Hautes-Alpes.

Over the last week there’s been around 10-60 cm of fresh snow in the Isère (l’Alpe d’Huez and les Deux Alpes), 30 - 110 cm in the Savoie (3vs, Tarentaise) and 40-75 cm in the Haute-Savoie (Chamonix).  These snowfalls were coupled with strong south-west winds which has added to corniches and wind slabs.  This week rain is expected to 1800 meters then further snowfall at low altitudes.  Along with warm temperatures and a poor base this has led to the strong to marked risk of avalanches.

A German skier died on Sunday afternoon off piste in Méribel. Another man, aged 46, was found on Sunday in a couloir near to the Summit of the Abriés ski station in the Queyras (Hautes-Alpes).  He had been caught in an avalanche, probably on Friday, while snowboarding off-piste.

On Saturday a ski instructor aged 25 who was training to be a guide was caught by an avalanche above Termignon in the Savoie.  The avalanche was set-off by the skier himself.  Another ski instructor was killed in the Spatule near Val d’Isere in the Bellevarde sector at around 2,600 meters.  The instructor, equiped with an avalanche tranceiver, was skiing with a friend who was able to dig him out after 20 minutes burial.  The ski resort had posted an avalanche risk of 4.  He leaves a wife and young daughter.

Posted by davidof on Sunday, 24 February, 2002 at 06:24 PM

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