Fatality in the Angelique couloir


Friday 21st April 2017, in the afternoon, a ski instructor of (55), from the Chamonix valley, lost his life, while skiing in the Angelique couloir, on the south face of Les Courtes (3,856 m) in the Mont Blanc massif.

The Angelique couloir, at the right end of the photo. photo source: @ledauphine.com
Les Courtes (3,856 m). photo source: www.camptocamp.org
The Chamonix PGHM Helicopter
The Angelique couloir. photo source: www.camptocamp.org

According to Le Dauphine, the 55-year-old man was skiing the Angelique couloir with two friends, high mountain guides.

The accident occurred at 3,100 meters above sea level, in the last third of the couloir as they descended, when a boulder has fallen over them.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Stéphane Bozon, commander of PGHM in Chamonix, "The two high mountain guides, who placed themselves on the side of the couloir to follow their friend's progress downstream, were not touched by the boulder. They witnessed to the fall of the boulder and then tried to alert their skiing partner by screaming, in vain. The boulder of about 1 meter high, hit and destabilized the man. He then fell over 150 meters, until his body came to rest in the debris cone, at the foot of the couloir".

The Chamonix PGHM arrived by helicopter at the site of the accident at 4pm. Sadly, the victim was declared dead at the scene.

The two high mountain guides were flown back to the valley by the civil security helicopter.

According to the preliminary investigations led by the Chamonix PGHM on the spot, the boulder would fallen in a natural way, no skier or mountaineer having been observed upstream.

An investigation has been opened by the Chamonix PGHM to determine the exact circumstances of the accident.

The Angelique couloir is a steep slope with an angle from 45 degrees to 50 degrees, reserved for very good skiers, who know perfectly the high mountain.

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