Five Dead in Avalanches in Austria & Switzerland


Heavy snow has led to a series of avalanches. Caution is urged as snow falls on an unstable base. NEW

The snow has been accompanied by high winds that have increased the danger of avalanches.

Details of the separate incidents are sketchy but one person was killed in an avalanche off piste in Kaltenbach in Austria on Satuday.

It is reported the victim was a 17-year old from New Zealand.

On Saturday the body of a 50 year old man was recovered in the Kleinwalsertal valley in Austria.

On Friday a 32-year-old man died in an avalanche in the resort of Soelden in the Tirol.

The resort of Stubai in the Tirol was closed completely on Saturday due to heavy snow and high winds.

“Due to strong winds, the facilities of Stubaier Glacier will remain closed today 4.2.2023 for safety reasons,” the resort said in a statement.

In Switzerland, two off-route skiers were killed by an avalanche in the canton of Graubunden.

They were a 56-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man.

A third member of the group managed to escape unharmed.

The local police in Graubunden say the rescue operation was hampered by poor visibility and bad weather.

Avalanche sign. Image © PlanetSKI

The authorities are urging anyone that ventures away from the marked trails to exercise caution and obey all the rules and instructions from the piste patrol.

Skiers & snowboarders should carry the correct safety equipment – avalanche transceiver, probe & shovel – and know how to use them.

The avalanche risk in parts of Austria has been at Level 4 on a scale of 5.

This means there is a ‘high’ risk.

Some heavy snow has also fallen in neighbouring Switzerland where the risk remains at Level 3 in eastern parts of the country.

The Swiss Institute for Avalanche Information and Research says that “for those venturing off piste a critical avalanche situation will be encountered in some regions.”

Image c/o Swiss Avalanche Institute

Image c/o Swiss Avalanche Institute

In France the risk remains at Level 2 in many places as no recent snow has fallen.

We will be updating this report as we receive further information.

See further details of the snow conditions here:

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