4th June 2023
21 people were killed by avalanches, the seasonal average is 17. It comes despite below average snowfall in Switzerland. NEW
The figures have been released by the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, SLF, which is based in Davos.
222 people were affected by avalanches, which is nearly double the annual number of people affected in winters over the last 20 years.
137 avalanches were reported in Switzerland during the winter of 2022-2023.
Most of those who died were ski tourers, with nine off-piste skiers losing their lives in avalanches.
No deaths were recorded on open ski runs.
The deadliest avalanche occurred on May 19th near Lauterbrunnen in the canton of Bern, when three people died.
All fatal incidents were above 2,000m.
There is a 5 level risk system in place, with 5 being the highest danger.
- 6 incidents occurred at Level 2
- 12 incidents occurred at Level 3
- 2 incident occurred at Level 4
- 1 where no avalanche bulletin was issued
Last winter was warmer than average and saw less snow fall that normal, particularly in February.
Snow depths were well below average across the Swiss Alps for the entire winter.