The alert was received shortly before 11:27 a.m. on Sunday 9 April. A big avalanche has descended Armancette glacier which is the south-west face of the Domes de Miage in the Contamines-Montjoie sector of the Mont-Blanc massif. First reports are at least 3 dead.
Two helicopters have been mobilized from Chamonix as part of a huge rescue operation with many human and technical resources.
The maneuvers are still in progress and the human toll is expected to increase.
Monday 10 April The aerial search is over
The final death toll : Six people lost their lives.
The prefect has just announced the final results of the avalanche: 6 people have lost their lives.
The last victim, reported missing, was found in the morning below the Dômes de Miage.
The impressive snowflow also slightly injured one person and left eight others unscathed. Research is over.
10:30: Victims identified
The Bonneville prosecutor confirmed the identity of the customers who accompanied the two guides who lost their lives in the avalanche.
According to information, the two guides, deceased and identified, are Laurent Rigeaud, born in 1974 and Clément Jacquemoud, born in 1984.
“About fifteen people were skiing in the sector, divided into three groups.”
“Each group was supervised by one or two high mountain guides who found death as well as 4 clients:
a young woman from Beaufortain born in 1999, a couple in their forties from the suburbs of Lyon and a man born in 1998 and from Lille.
A client was also slightly injured and hospitalized at the Sallanches hospital. The other people were unharmed."
19:31 The aerial search continues until 8 p.m.
The aerial search continued until 8 p.m. on Sunday 9 April.
The searche will resume at 7 a.m. in the morning on Monday 10 April. The goal is to find any other victims.
18:54 Two Hautes-Savoie High Mountain Guides among the deceased
The elected mountain safety officer for Contamines-Montjoie, Jean-Luc Mattel, announced that two of the four people who died in the avalanche are high mountain guides from Saint-Gervais and Contamines.
Both worked for the Compagnie des Guides de Saint-Gervais.
16:21 The President of the Republic and the Prime Minister pay tribute to the victims on Twitter.
Au glacier d’Armancette dans les Alpes, une avalanche a fait des victimes. Nous pensons à elles, ainsi qu’à leurs familles. Pour retrouver les personnes encore bloquées dans la neige, nos forces de secours sont mobilisées. Nos pensées les accompagnent, elles aussi.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 9, 2023
Pensées pour les victimes de l’avalanche du glacier d’Armancette et leurs proches.
Soutien et reconnaissance à l’ensemble des secours mobilisés sur place qui tentent de sauver les personnes encore bloquées.
— Élisabeth BORNE (@Elisabeth_Borne) April 9, 2023
16:13 The avalanche video
As confirmed by the Contamines-Montjoie ski area, the place of the avalanche is in the mountain area, under the Dômes de Miage.
Grosse coulée depuis les Dômes ce matin ...
Prudence en hors piste pic.twitter.com/9Hxzj9qvHp
— ⛷ Domaine Skiable des Contamines-Montjoie 🏂 SECMH (@domaineskiable) April 9, 2023
16:00 hours (local) 4 dead. 1 recovered alive but in a critical condition, 8 recovered with only minor injuries.
14:38 A huge avalanche
We know the size of the avalanche. It was 500 m wide and fell over 1,500 m.
14:31 A busy area
The avalanche took place in a busy area.
More than twenty paramedics are on site.
The PGHM of Chamonix is in charge.
14:27 Prefect announces a provisional death toll of four dead and one wounded
The prefect has just confirmed the provisional assessment of the avalanche in Contamines: 4 dead, 1 wounded and 8 free.
The search continues because we are not sure that there was only one group in the area at the time of the avalanche.”
As to the exact circumstances, “it will be up to the judicial inquiry to determine”.