67 Avalanche Deaths In The Alps So Far This Season

Chris Wallner | BackcountryBackcountry | AvalancheAvalanche
Alps Avalanche! PC: GEO

According to We Powder, 16 weeks after the Alps turned white on January 3rd, 2016, avalanches in the Alps have claimed 67 victims. That averages out to be slightly less than 4 avalanche deaths per week. In 2011/12, the Alps saw 68 deaths all year.  In 2013/14, the Alps saw 80 avalanche deaths all year.  In 2010/11, the Alps saw 83 avalanche deaths all year. 67 is relatively high considering the fact that avalanche danger is prevalent throughout the summer months in the Alps due to the fact that many climbers are killed each summer in avalanches.

USA has seen 27 avalanche deaths this winter (exactly average) and Canada has seen 9.

Alps Avalanche Deaths! PC: We Powder

There’s a lot we can learn from these avalanche deaths, including that you need to use caution when venturing out on slopes with an exposure between west over north to south because nearly 90% of the fatal avalanches came down on slopes with exposure facing that way. Take additional precautionary measures when venturing above 2000 meters because nearly 92% of the victims died in an avalanche above 2000 meters altitude.

Also, its very important to stay off of closed slopes because 4 of the 67 victims were skiing or snowboarding on closed terrain at the time of the avalanche. Avalanche beacons increase your chances of survival if an avalanche were to occur, but sadly, 16 of the 67 victims were not wearing an avalanche beacon at the time of the avalanche, which dramatically decreased their chances of survival. This season has been a deadly one and its not over yet, but do what you can to not be a statistic of this one.

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