An Avalanche Has Killed Two Climbers Near Les Grands Montets

An Avalanche Has Killed Two Climbers Near Les Grands Montets

Avalanche

An Avalanche Has Killed Two Climbers Near Les Grands Montets

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Petite Verte Is Located On The Far Right | Photo Credit: camptocamp.com

Petite Verte Is Located On The Far Right | Photo Credit: camptocamp.com

Yesterday afternoon, two helicopters whirled above Les Grands Montets ski area in response to an avalanche incident that has since claimed the lives of two Lithuanian mountaineers.

The accident occurred when three climbers were on their way to the Petite Verte route above the Argentiere Basin, just outside Chamonix, France. According to Chamonet.com, the avalanche was of the wind slab variety and the victims caught in the slide were a man and woman. A third member of the climbing party survived the avalanche.

The Avalanche Danger was rated between a 3-4 on a scale of 5 at the time of the accident. (*Five being the highest danger)

Once two helicopters delivered rescue personnel to the scene, members of the PGMH (High Mountain Rescue Team) performed CPR unsuccessfully and the Lithuanian man subsequently passed away from injuries sustained in the avalanche. The lady involved, died instantly from a fall.

Photo Credit: Meteo France

Photo Credit: Meteo France

Chamonix Avalanche Report

The avalanche risk will gradually increase from Sunday night to Monday, given the arrival of new highly blown snow particularly in the west, southwest, and southern slopes (risk less marked than 2200 m, and strong at more than 2200 m ). In steep slopes, hard or crumbly plates thicker and wider at above 2200 m can easily be triggered by the weight of a skier, even as sunken or sometimes even at a distance, especially in the East direction, North or West. Over 2200 m on some shady slopes, the presence of evil in layers exists in snow that has failed to bond (in cups or angular grains formed during the long period of good weather in December). In some steep slopes where loading occurs, natural avalanches are possible. 

This was the first fatal avalanche incident of the season in the French Alps.

*Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the victims. 

Find up-to-date snowpack summaries for the French Alps here: Meteo France Avalanche Bulletin

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