Avalanches: two skiers killed in Vallorcine and one missing in Samoëns

 
 

Sunday 4th March 2018, six major avalanches were reported in the department. In the Mont-Blanc massif, the balance sheet is the heaviest...

According to Le Dauphine, in the Loriaz area: the avalanche of Rand, above the village church, hit a group of three Belgian skiers, members of the same family, supervised by a guide.

According to the Chamonix PGHM who intervened on the spot, two of them were carried away by the avalanche and jumped a rock ridge of 100 to 200 meters.

An investigation for manslaughter

One of them was found dead, unburied: «He had his face in the snow but was visible, we saw him immediately», said Stéphane Bozon, commander of PGHM in Chamonix.

The other skier suffers from severe back trauma due to the violence of the fall and was hospitalized in Sallanches, aboard the gendarmerie helicopter.

The third skier and the guide have been spared by the avalanche and are unscathed. Remained both above the rocky ridge, the guide was not equipped to cross it, so they were unable to offer help to the two victims.

An investigation has been opened by the prosecutor of Bonneville (Haute-Savoie) for manslaughter and entrusted to the Chamonix PGHM to determine the circumstances of this drama.

image: 
Avalanches: two skiers killed in Vallorcine and one missing in Samoëns
Photo source: @twitter.com/gerardcollomb
Avalanche locations
In the Loriaz area: the avalanche of Rand, above the village church, hit a group of three Belgian skiers, members of the same family, supervised by a guide.
Avalanches: two skiers killed in Vallorcine.
Avalanches: two skiers killed in Vallorcine.
Two avalanches also started in the Posettes sector, in the area of Vallorcine.

Two avalanches at Posettes

Two avalanches also started in the Posettes sector, in the area of Vallorcine.

The first avalanche, around 2 p.m., on north-facing slope, hit a group of two skiers. One of them was skiing on the slope when he triggered the avalanche and was carried away.

He was found in cardio-respiratory arrest by the rescuers, two PGHM gendarmes and a SMUR doctor brought on the spot by the helicopter of the Gendarmerie. Immediately, an important work of resuscitation was launched... with success. Then, he was transported to Sallanches hospital where he unfortunately died in the early evening.

About two hours later, the PGHM was alerted, at 3:48 p.m., of an over-avalanche in the same area.

The avalanche came close to the rescuers still mobilized on the previous one. A skier, a member of a group of three, was swept away. Suffering from a severe head trauma, he was evacuated to the Sallanches hospital.

Hiker Missing After Avalanche in Samoëns

At Samoëns near the Swiss border, a couple of snowshoe hikers were swept away by another avalanche in the area of La tête de Bostan, between Bostan Refuge and the Corne au Taureau.

The man's wife was buried in snow and escaped with only minor injuries but the man is still missing. He was not equipped with DVA (Avalanche Victim Detector).

A call for vigilance was launched Saturday by the prefecture of Haute-Savoie.

The prefecture had alerted skiers about the high risk of avalanche, a risk of 3 or 4 out of 5 over 2000 meters. Despite the call for vigilance launched, several hikers were caught in these avalanches on Sunday.

Attention: It is essential to follow the signs put up by local authorities “to avoid putting yourself in danger and endangering rescue teams”.

The snow pack is still very unstable! Be careful!

The Chamoniarde has published a security report:

"Several avalanches took place in Chamonix and in Haute Savoie. The risk is still considerable for the next days, especially above to 1900m, north facing steep area and where there is snow accumulation/wind (around crest for exemple). Be careful ! Prepare your trip consequently, have tranceiver probe and shovel, be trained to use it. Just carrying it in your bagpack is definitely not enough!!!

Without security equipment and without real experience, please stay on the slopes! Even if you have done this run a thousand times!

The avalanche risk report emitted by Météo-France

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