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Summer Avalanche Warnings in Switzerland

The authorities are urging caution after a person was caught in a summer slide earlier this month near Verbier. The 36-year-old local remains missing and the risk continues to be high in places.

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At 5pm on Sunday 13th June a woman saw a spontaneous avalanche occur near the Mauvoisin dam at an altitude of 3,400m.

She saw a person being carried away by the flow and contacted the emergency services.

The cantonal police, the fire brigade, 3 Air Glaciers helicopters, avalanche dogs and a significant number of search personnel were deployed.

They carried out an extensive search but were unable to find the victim.

A 36-year-old resident of the region remains missing.

“The weather and visibility conditions as well as the danger of new avalanches make searches difficult,” said the cantonal police in a statement.

Large quantities of winter snow remain at altitude and the cold spring temperatures slowed the annual melt.

In some place the danger is described as “exceptional”.

People are advised to hike trails that are not threatened by avalanches and to take extra care.

Avalanche search at Mauvoisin dam. Image © Valais Police

Avalanche search at Mauvoisin dam. Image © Valais Police

Last winter saw a high number of avalanche deaths in Switzerland as we reported earlier:

Verbier avalanche

Verbier avalanche. Image c/o Cantonal Police

It was a similar situation in France where the toll was double the 50-year average:

There was also a high number of avalanches in the USA:

Loveland avalanche, c/o Colorado Avalanche Information Centre

Loveland avalanche, c/o Colorado Avalanche Information Centre

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