10th April 2022
One was buried under the snow for 15 minutes while the other managed to free himself. 50 people were involved in the rescue operation on Saturday. NEW
The two brothers, aged 24 and 27, were skiing off piste in the Grande Rochette area between the Rochette and Mia slopes of the French resort when they were caught in the avalanche.
It was 200m wide and 150m long.
The avalanche risk at the time was 4 on a scale of 5 meaning there was a “high’ chance of avalanche.
Neither of the pair was wearing an avalanche transceiver or had safety equipment.
It followed a large snow fall, high winds and warm temperatures.
A ski instructor saw the avalanche and alerted the rescue authorities.
Other instructors and passing skiers helped in the search operation.
“Buried under 1.5m of snow, the 27-year-old skier was located thanks to the survey of the trackers from the Grande Rochette Rescue station in less than 10 minutes,” said a statement from the La Plagne Development Company, SAP.
The victim was unconscious at 11.54am and was given immediate first aid at the scene.
He regained consciousness at 12.15pm and was airlifted to hospital in Grenoble.
His 24-year-old brother freed himself an underwent a medical examination at the resort and was pronounced healthy.
There have been other recent avalanche fatalities across the world, in Canada and Norway, as we have reported elsewhere on PlanetSKI:
“It should be noted that the two rescued people were in an off-piste sector without safety equipment, with a high risk of avalanche, level 4,” added the La Plagne Development Company, SAP.
The SAP has called for “the greatest vigilance and caution” from everyone as the weather clears.
See here for the details in our updated snow report that includes information on the avalanche risk in France and Switzerland.
The authorities across the Alps are urging extreme caution off piste given the current unstable snow.
The names of the brothers have not been released.