Fresh warnings on Off Piste Safety as Ski Instructor Dies in France
22nd January 2023
Last modified on January 24th, 2023
The 57-year old ski teacher died in an avalanche in Les Arcs France. The snowpack is stabilising after the fresh snow of last week but caution is urged.
He died last Thursday in the Aiguille-Grive sector of the ski area.
The accident occurred around 3pm.
The rescue services were alerted and the team found his body buried under the snow.
He s believed to be a local man.
The Albertville prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation.
It follows large amounts of fresh snow after a series of storms hit the north-western Alps leaving up to 1m of fresh snow in places.
Earlier this month a British woman died in an avalanche in Chamonix.
There have been significant falls of snow across the region as we have been reporting on PlanetSKI.
The PlanetSKI editor, James Cove, has been in Verbier in Switzerland enjoying the powder under safe conditions.
He has been doing an off piste course with the Warren Smith Ski Academy.
Here’s some advice from Warren Smith.
And the technique for skiing off piste that Warren is teaching?
In Switzerland the snowpack is becoming more stable and a smaller area of the Swiss Alps in under a Level 3 alert.
Level 3 is where 65% of fatalities occur as people think it is safe when it is not.
Level 3 means there is “considerable” danger.
“At elevated altitudes a considerable avalanche danger will be encountered in some regions,” said the Swiss Institute for Avalanche Research.
In Switzerland 4 people have died in avalanches with the last one being in Davos on Sunday 15th January.
France has not fared so well and got off to a poor start.
The authorities are urging caution and that anyone who ventures off piste carries a transceiver, shovel and probe.
Most importantly they should know how to use the equipment and practice.
In Verbier there is a special area to practice near the Ruinettes lift station.
There are free courses with piste patrollers every Sunday.