Four skiers were caught and perished in 2 separate avalanches in the southern Swiss alps on Sunday. Another skier is currently in critical condition. Two other avalanches also occured in the same zone on Sunday each resulting in skiers with minor injuries. These avalanches all occurred out off-piste in the large ski resort of 4 Vallées of which Verbier is a part.
A mountain guide and his 6 six clients/students were caught in an avalanche while skiing during the second day of an avalanche course in the Verbier, Switzerland area. The guide and two clients passed away in the hospital after being rescued while one other client is currently in critical condition in the hospital. The rescuer effort was enormous involving 20 rescuers, 5 dogs, 6 doctors, and 6 helicopters on the scene.
The fourth avalanche fatality was a occurred in the same Verbier area. This fatality was a lone freeskier.
“The deaths came two days after mountain rescue workers in the canton cautioned that there was an especially high risk of snowslides.
Police said several avalanches had been set off by off-piste skiers and urged caution, warning that the risk of more snowslides remained high.” – Inquirer News
Also on Sunday in the Verbier area, two other skiers were caught in two separate avalanches. One avalanche resulted in a woman with minor injuries. The other avalanche resulted in a man with minor injuries.
There have been 11 avalanche deaths in Switzerland this winter.