According to police officials from the Swiss canton of Valais, two Italians are dead after an avalanche struck a team of three cross-country skiers on Saturday near the mountain pass of Maederluecke. The avalanche was roughly 1,000 feet wide and occurred at an elevation of 8,200 feet.
The two fatalities included a 20 and 24 year-old, while information on the third survivor has yet to be released. Search and rescue personnel arrived at the scene promptly but another group had already uncovered the bodies of the two victims. According to the Valais police, the avalanche victims “died from their injuries.” Included in the avalanche bulletin on Saturday was a warning that “a critical avalanche situation will be encountered in some regions.”
The avalanche danger was rated as a 3 on a scale of 5 and in nearby areas, the avalanche danger had risen to a level of 4.
Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of the victims.
For up to date Swiss avalanche bulletins visit: WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF