Another tragedy!

06 March 2013

The wind was still blowing a gale this morning and it was probably even stronger than yesterday. Sectors such as the Fornet were non-starters and Chris, Andreas and I sheltered ourselves towards Tignes in the Sache/Sachette, and couloirs. There is still patches of frisset about but some of the best skiing is now the chalky, soft soufflé type snow found in some couloirs, steeper slopes, and around ridges. Considering it was a tough day everyone had a pretty good time and we found some nice skiing. Bravo boys and nice idea in Les Tufs Andreas!

There was a tragic accident this morning and as far as I know two skiers were killed in an avalanche below the Little Lavachet where we ski down sometimes and then ‘skin’ back out. As far as I can tell it was even lower than where we usually stop, somewhere down near the waterfall. The Pisteurs apparently found two airbags, which suggests that the skiers had stopped to put on their ‘skins’ when the avalanche took them from above them. Bloody sad and it will be someone we know but I won’t mention the guiding service involved.

Below is a report from Radio Val:

Un guide-moniteur, enseignant d’une école indépendante de Val d’Isère, et sa cliente ont trouvé la mort ce matin, pris dans une avalanche au niveau du Bois de la Laye à Tignes bien à gauche des pentes du Lavachet. L’accident s’est produit au niveau de la cascade bien connue des randonneurs pendant l’été. L’avalanche s’est produite à 11h30 couvrant une très longue distance sur cette pente située en face de la route d’accès à Tignes, pente qui s’est transformée en toboggan. L’alerte a été donnée sans savoir qu’il y avait des skieurs qui avaient emprunté cet itinéraire. Les pisteurs en retrouvant 2 airbags au pied de cette avalanche ont tout de suite compris que des personnes étaient ensevelies. 10 pisteurs, 1 chien d’avalanche et le PGHM sont intervenus pour effectuer les recherches et des hommes spécialisés dans les recherches dans l’eau sont intervenus car le pied de l’avalanche est venu s’arrêter dans le torrent en contrebas. Des recherches, les sauveteurs devaient extraire les 2 corps, profondément enfouis sous la neige un peu avant 14h. Le vent important et violent de ces derniers jours a formé des « plaques à vent » particulièrement instables.

On a happier note, Happy Birthday Anna, who turns 8-years-old today! Have a great party and enjoy your friends and presents.

Gill, Millie and Liz should be back up shortly from the airport, after some shopping and lunch. Thanks Laura for taking care of Katie all day. I’m looking forward to tonight’s meal of homemade pasta and pesto sauce, and ice cream, all of which was prepared by Katie and Laura. Thanks ladies!

Unfortunately no new snow fell last night when we were expecting 10cm’s, but fingers crossed something will fall out of the sky tonight, otherwise we’re in for another difficult day tomorrow.

And bad luck to all you United supporters out there, you deserved better!

PS I’ve just updated a photo of today’s avalanche sent by Jean R. Thanks Jean!

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