Friday, 27 April 2012

End of season avalanches

The continued heavy snow at the end of the season has caused some avalanche risks for those skiing the higher resorts in the Portes du Soleil.

On Saturday an avalanche was set off at 1800 metres in the resort of Abondance, where two ski-tourers were skiing in the Mont de Grange area.

Fortunately the two skiers managed to escape the large slide but one of the skiers injured his knee in the process. The alert was given and a helicopter from Chamonix was sent over to airlift the injured man from the mountain, however on arrival the weather had closed in forcing the two skiers to make their own way off the mountain. They made it down to a nearby restaurant where they were met by emergency services.

Shortly after this incident another avalanche was triggered, this time in the resort of Chatel, where two British skiers had ventured off-piste.

Fortunately there were no injuries involved however the two British skiers were unable to ski out from the steep slope. An helicopter from Annecy was flown in to help with the rescue, dropping off two members of the rescue team close to the avalanche site (as they were not able to winch the men directly off the mountain due to the strong winds). The rescue team winched the men out of the steep couloir via ropes from the top entry point.