The death of a skier in an avalanche in Val d’Isere has been reported – the first this season. A group of Spanish skiers triggered the avalanche at around 11.30 this morning, in the backcountry above the closed Santons piste. One was found buried under about 1.5m of snow, in a slide measuring 80m long and 30m wide, French newspaper Le Dauphine reports.
Fifteen pisteurs and two avalanche dogs were dispatched to the scene and the skier was found relatively quickly, but despite resuscitation attempts the 37-year-old died at the scene.
An hour earlier, 3 local seasonnaires had triggered an avalanche off piste nearby. The first was found quickly and was unconscious for 10 minutes, then treated for shock. The second was buried under 1.5m of snow but found after 5 minutes with the aid of a DVA system. Rescuers performed cardiac massage on them for a significant period and they were taken to Grenoble hospital in a serious condition. The third was uninjured.
The avalanche risk is currently very high – 4/5. About half a metre of snow has fallen in the last couple of days, after a long dry period.
Please be very careful out there and check with pisteurs before venturing off piste.
Check our Live pages for snow reports, lift opening and travel news.
Photos from the Pisteurs Secouristes de Val d’Isère Facebook page.