As of February 10th, 2015, Europe has already seen 75 avalanche deaths this winter. 68 of those deaths have occurred in the Alps.
75 avalanche deaths is a lot. In 2011/12, Europe saw 68 deaths all year. In 2013/14, Europe saw 80 avy deaths all year. In 2010/11, Europe saw 83 avy deaths all year. We’re at 75 with many months of avalanche season left in Europe (avalanches kill many climbers in summer in the Alps). This year could end up with a devastating number of avalanches potentially worse than 2012/14 when Europe had 107 avalanche deaths.
Europe is generally at around 30 to 40 avalanche deaths at this time of year. If we’re already at 75, we very well may end up with a unfortunately large number by the end of the avalanche season (Sept. 1st to Sept. 1st).
Why is are there so many avalanche deaths in Europe this year? There have been deep persistent weak layers in snowpack of the Alps this winter.
If you’re in the alps this winter and you aren’t sure about avalanche conditions, it’s best to stay inbounds.
Learn more about avalanche accidents in the Alps and North America this winter: