Yesterday, January 31, 2015, was a very sad day in the Swiss Alps. Eight people were killed in four separate avalanches. These deaths bring the total avalanche deaths in Switzerland this winter to 17. All the deaths occurred off-piste. Avalanche danger yesterday was rated as “Considerable” (3 out of 5) in all the areas where these avalanche deaths occurred.
Eleven people have died in off-piste skiing accidents in the Swiss Alps despite repeated avalanche warnings over the past four days. Another three off-piste skiers died Thursday and Friday.
Here is a breakdown of the 4 deadly events in the Swiss Alps.
Avalanche 1: An avalanche struck in the PIz Vilan region of Switzerland on Saturday afternoon killing 5 skiers. The skiers were part of a group of 9 from Zurich. The skiers were in a backcountry area at the time of the slid.
Avalanche 2: A freeskier was killed on the Schilthoren mountain in the Bern Alps of Switzerland.
Avalanche 3: Another freeskier was on the Luegli mountain also in the Bern Alps.
Avalanche 4: A skier skiing off-piste was killed by an avalanche on the Hinderrugg mountain in Wildhaus, Switzerland.