A skier who was part of a group of seven experienced ski tourers from Nice’s French Alpine Club died in an avalanche in the French Alps on Monday.
According to the rescue services, the avalanche occurred at noon at a place called “Bec de l’Aigle” at an altitude of 2500 m in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.
Found under four meters of snow and in cardiac arrest, the victim died in his 50s despite the intervention of emergency services.
Four members of the group were also swept away by the avalanche but were not injured. Two of them were taken to the emergency services in a state of shock.
Significant resources were mobilized to rescue the skiers: three helicopters and around twenty rescuers, including three dog teams and high-mountain gendarmerie platoons.
The French meteorological authority Météo France had reported a “pronounced” avalanche danger, level 3 of 5, on all massifs of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Hautes-Alpes for Monday. The two departments are still in the “yellow” avalanche watch until Tuesday.
Less than a month into the start of the Alpine World Ski Championships in Courchevel and Méribel in the French Alps (February 6-19), high temperatures and rain are affecting slope preparation.
Several ski resorts in the Alps have postponed their openings originally scheduled for late November due to insufficient snow to function properly.