Instructor Killed in Auron Avalanche

A former ski instructor from Auron has been killed by an avalanche on Mont Ténibre (3031m) in the Maritime Alps today.

Three skiers had set off into the Mont Ténibre (3031m) area, one of the peaks on the border with Italy above the ski resort of Auron, for a day’s ski touring.  The group triggered an avalanche at around noon.  Jean Burlet, 63 years old, was caught by the slide, his friends were able to give the alert.  Wearing an avalanche transceiver he was rapidly found by his partners but they were not equipped with either snow shovels or probes and subsequently took half an hour to dig him out of the snow.  A delay that possibly proved fatal for the man.

The mountain police took some time to arrive on the scene given the distance from the resort.  12 men and two helicopters were involved in the operation.  The avalanche risk was 2 with some windslabs noted in the sector on southern facing slopes, particuarly at altitude close to ridge lines.

Although fatal avalanches in the Maritime Alps are comparatively rare a skier was killed at Auron close to the pistes in March, 2001.  Skiers and boarders are reminded that rapid intervention is necessary after an accident and that all members of an off-piste tour should carry a transceiver, shovel and probe.

Posted by davidof on Tuesday, 20 January, 2004 at 05:38 PM

A comment from a friend in Le Journal du Nice

I knew Jean Burlet, he was definitely an excellent skier and a sensible man; but snow, like the sea, can take the best… it is very sad.  That said, maybe it is better to die for your passion?

Posted by davidof on  Saturday, 24 January, 2004  at 01:43 PM
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