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Friday January 11, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

It means there is a HIGH risk of avalanche. It follows continuing heavy snow fall and a number of deaths.

In Austria, Switzerland and France it is at Level 4 in many places.

That is a reduction from the Level 5 risk in some parts of the Alps on Monday after the heavy weekend snow.

Here is the current situation in the Tirol in Austria where some of the heaviest snow has fallen.

Avalanche risk in the TirolAvalanche risk in the Tirol




See this separate PlanetSKI report on the snow in the Alps:

The map below shows the situation in Switzerland on Tuesday.

"High avalanche danger will be encountered over a wide area," said the Swiss Avalanche Institute on Tuesday morning.

Swiss avalanche risk on Tuesday 15th JanuarySwiss avalanche risk on Tuesday 15th January

















"Very high avalanche danger will be encountered in some regions," said the Swiss Avalanche Institute on Monday.

Avalanche danger in SwitzerlandAvalanche danger in Switzerland

At the weekend three men died in an avalanche in Lech in Austria and a fourth remains missing.

It has been too dangerous to continue searching for the missing man.

The group of men who died came from Germany.

They were reported missing by one of their wives on Saturday evening after they failed to come home.

A search was immediately launched in difficult weather conditions.

The three men were aged 32, 36 and 57.

Their bodies were found at about 23:00 on Saturday night.

The search then had to be called off after the risk of further avalanches.

The missing man is aged 28.

The rescue services found the men by tracing their mobile phone signal.

They were near the Langer Zug slope in the resort.

It is understood the men were cross country skiing.

Meanwhile in France two ski patrollers died in Morillon ski resort as they were detonating avalanches.

The accident took place at an altitude of 1,800m and an investigation is underway.

It is understood the charges went off prematurely

There is a significant risk of avalanche across many parts of Austria with the danger at Level 4 in many places this week.

Level 4 means there is a "high" risk of avalanche.

On Sunday it rose to Level 5 in Vorarlberg and Lower Austria, which will likely remain so until Tuesday.

Avalanche risk in AustriaAvalanche risk in Austria















The authorities are urging people to stay on the marked and open slopes and not to venture off piste unless they have all the correct safety equipment and the knowledge to make decisions.

They should consult the forecast and ideally hire a qualified guide.

Caution is also urged on piste.

In 2017 in Austria15 people died in avalanches and 30 on the marked slopes.

There has been reaction to the accidents on social media.

See the PlanetSKI Facebook page to add your comments.

Social media reactionSocial media reaction




















The deaths of the group of Germans in Lech follows an accident last week in neighbouring St Anton.

An Australian teenager was skiing off piste with his parents and brother in the resort in the Tirol after days of heavy snow and high winds.

It is reported they had no rescue equipment and called the emergency services who were on the scene swiftly.

A search was carried out by rescuers and it took 20 minutes to find his body according to local sources.

He has been named as Max Meyer and was on holiday with his parents, an Australian and a German.

He went to the International Grammar School in Sydney, Australia.

In a statement to Australian media the Principal, Shauna Colnan, said the accident was a tragedy.

"It is with deep sadness that I informed our school community yesterday that one of our students has died in an avalanche while skiing with his family," the statement said.

"Max Meyer, 16, was about to enter Year 11, and his life has tragically been cut short."

"I have spoken with Max's father and have extended my deepest condolences on behalf of the IGS school community, and offered the family all of our support. We will continue to support the family through the coming days and beyond."

See our updated report on the incident as the boy's parents released a statement:

Austria has received huge amounts of snow as we have reported in out latest snow report that was published on Thursday.

St Anton has urged people not to ski off piste.

"Please do not go into the freeride area as it is too dangerous right now. Stay on the slopes and everything will be fine," said the head of the tourist office in a video message.

The has been heavy snow in France too with resorts like Arc 1950 in Paradiski urging caution.

The snowfall eased but another storm hit the Alps over the weekend.

Here was the situation ahead of the weekend, before the latest storm:

"For those venturing off piste a precarious avalanche situation will be encountered over a wide area," said the Swiss Avalanche Instiute on Friday.

Avalanche danger in SwitzerlandAvalanche danger in Switzerland















Elsewhere a 65-year old British man died after falling 10m from a chairlift in Meribel, France.

The accident happened on the Roc de Tougne chairlift on Friday afternoon.

Rescue services were on the scene swifty but were unable to save him.

Reports suggest he may have had a heart attack.

He was on the detachable 6-seater chairlift with a friend at the time.

The lift was new last season.

An investigation is underway.

Over a dozen people have been killed in the recent storms in Europe.

We reported on it earlier on PlanetSKI.

Extreme caution is urgedExtreme caution is urged












In Slovakia a 37-year old man has been killed by an avalanche in the Mala Fatra mountains.

Six German teenagers were rescued after being caught in an avalanche in Wildkogel near Salzburg.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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