Another avalanche death in Val D'Isere

Friday, 21 December 2012

A skier has been killed today by an avalanche in Val D'Isere. This brings the total killed so far this season in the Espace Killy to 3, in three separate incidents.

The skier was off-piste in the Fornet sector, near to the Point de Grand Vallon. He was with two others, all of whom were fully equipped with avalanche safety equipment. The skier triggered a slab avalanche on a convex slope, and was dug out after aproximately 15 minutes. Unfortunately he was unconscious and efforts to revive him were not successful.

The skier was described as a holiday-maker by the resort staff. His nationality is not yet known. The avalanche risk in Val D'Isere today was 3/5.

Comment: This is another unfortunate accident that will marr the start to a season of record-breaking snowfall. If there is any lesson to be learned from this it is that 3/5 on the safety scale is "considerable", not "average" as is often thought. At Considerable a single skier can trigger large slides. Convex slopes are common trigger points for avalanches, and all those skiing off-piste should exercise due caution.

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