Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland

Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland

Started by Admin in Avalanche Safety - 20 Replies

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J2Ski

Admin posted Jan-2010

From this BBC Report :-

A double avalanche has killed three people, including at least one rescuer, in the Diemtigtal valley about 40km (25 miles) south of the Swiss capital Bern.

The dead rescuer was a doctor who had been trying with others to help a group of skiers hit by the first avalanche when the second occurred, police say.


and

A separate avalanche on Sunday killed a man in Switzerland's Valais canton.


Other sources indicate that the second tragedy was "near Verbier".
The Admin Man
Edited 1 time. Last update at 06-Jan-2010

Ise
reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Jan-2010

Admin wrote:
Other sources indicate that the second tragedy was "near Verbier".


Local news mentioned a ski mountaineer near Verbier accompanied by a guide who was freed by the rescue team.

edit : they're now saying Bruson which is in the 4V area.
Edited 1 time. Last update at 04-Jan-2010

Ir12daveor
reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Jan-2010

There have now been at least 5 people killed and 3 more still missing in Switzerland this weekend.

They've just found a 4th body from the Avalanche that Admin mentioned and the reports are saying that 3 more are still missing. The rescue worker who was killed was a doctor from the Rega rescue service.

In the other Avalanche in Wallis(Bruson) one person was killed and another person was brought to hospital with Hypothermia.

The media is also reporting a few other avalanches which buried people, but they were rescued by companions. There was also an incident in Zermat where two adults and three children set off an avalanche which went across an open piste in the resort.

I was in Berner Oberland on Saturday and there had been quite a bit of new snow with a lot of wind loading on certain slopes. I saw a few groups making their way up some pretty heavily loaded slopes. Be careful out there if you go off piste. The avalanche risk is still considerable for most of the Swiss Alps.

In the week up to 31st December the SLF are reporting 15 Avalanches with 22 people buried!!! All of these people luckily survived. If you understand French or German there is a weekly bulletin which is addition to the daily national and regional bulletins available from here.

SLF wrote:In der Wochenberichtsperiode wurden dem Lawinenwarndienst 15 Lawinen mit insgesamt etwa 22 (Unsicherheit in einer Meldung) erfassten Personen gemeldet. 10 Lawinen gingen an Steilhängen südlicher Expositionen ab. Die Höhen lagen zwischen 2100 und 3100 m. Lawinenabgänge mit Todesfolge ereigneten sich glücklicherweise keine.
In Anzère überführte am Sonntag, 27.12. eine durch Freerider ausgelöste Schneebrettlawine eine geöffnete Skipiste, was sehr selten vorkommt. Glücklicherweise wurde auf der Skipiste niemand verschüttet.
Edited 1 time. Last update at 04-Jan-2010

Ise
reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Jan-2010

ir12daveor wrote:I was in Berner Oberland on Saturday and there had been quite a bit of new snow with a lot of wind loading on certain slopes. I saw a few groups making their way up some pretty heavily loaded slopes. Be careful out there if you go off piste. The avalanche risk is still considerable for most of the Swiss Alps.


Wind transport has been a factor on some slopes certainly but there's also a problem underneath is poorly consolidated layers, partly this has been due to the wild fluctuations in temperature that we're getting. It's been -20'c one day and then hovering around freezing the next. It's snowing heavily now and burying yet another poor layer that, judging by what we saw yesterday, will possibly leave a depth hoar in places.

Now the holiday visitors have gone home, and I've a few days free, we'd hoped for a few good ski days but it's not very appealing conditions. I'd be curious to know what the longest run of unfavorable conditions has been previously in SLF records, this has been going on for a while now but I guess it's irritating rather than record-breaking. The forecast seem to offer some hope we'll see a respite towards the end of the week but some of the buried layers will remain a concern I think. Ironically, really cover isn't great in places either.

Ir12daveor
reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Jan-2010

ise wrote:
It's been -20'c one day and then hovering around freezing the next. It's snowing heavily now and burying yet another poor layer that, judging by what we saw yesterday, will possibly leave a depth hoar in places.


Up this side we had positive temperatures and rain to nearly 2000m last week. The snow was like spring snow. The week before had been down to close to -20 and it was -16 in the car park yesterday in Davos. Bloody great variations for sure. I've spent the weekend doing only controlled runs that had been blasted in advance. Even with this we still managed to get some really great runs over the last three days. I for sure ain't going into an uncontrolled area until it settles down a bit.

Ise
reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Jan-2010

Le Nouvelliste, the local paper, has an update now with a photo :

http://www.lenouvelliste.ch/fr/news/flash_info/bruson-victime-de-l-avalanche-identifiee-0-179077

Photo's can be deceiving but that doesn't look like a good slope, the slide's gone full depth in places and the crown wall looks a good couple of metres high. If it's 250m x 40m that mist be a photo of about the top one third of the slide

Ir12daveor
reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Jan-2010

Question for Ise.

Do you know what the regional Avalanche report was giving for Berner Oberland on Sunday. I know it was 3 on Saturday, and I seem to remember the National Danger card showing 3 for the majority of the main Alpine ridge for Snunday when I checked it on Saturday night. I only checked the regional bulletin for Graubunden on Sunday as thats where I was going. The reason I ask is that the media here is reporting that the risk for the Diemtigtal area was at level 2. This surprises me because I was under the impression that it was still 3 in Berner Oberland on Sunday.

Ise
reply to 'Multiple Avalanches kill 8 in Switzerland'
posted Jan-2010

ir12daveor wrote:Question for Ise.

Do you know what the regional Avalanche report was giving for Berner Oberland on Sunday. I know it was 3 on Saturday, and I seem to remember the National Danger card showing 3 for the majority of the main Alpine ridge for Snunday when I checked it on Saturday night. I only checked the regional bulletin for Graubunden on Sunday as thats where I was going. The reason I ask is that the media here is reporting that the risk for the Diemtigtal area was at level 2. This surprises me because I was under the impression that it was still 3 in Berner Oberland on Sunday.


I recall I saw a national hazard map with some areas north of the rhone at level 2 because I remember thinking it would have been way better for the snowshoeing I was going to do I saw those press reports today as well, and comment from SLF, that it was level 2. The bulletin from Sunday is still available :

http://www.slf.ch/lawineninfo/zusatzinfos/Archiv/lwdarchiv/2010/rbbob/de/pdf/20100103_rbbob_de_c.pdf

And Saturday :

http://www.slf.ch/lawineninfo/zusatzinfos/Archiv/lwdarchiv/2010/rbbob/de/pdf/20100102_rbbob_de_c.pdf


Topic last updated on 10-February-2010 at 15:21

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