It is being report that six skiers, four men and two women aged between 58 and 73, were hiking and skiing when they were swept to their deaths by a large avalanche. This incident happened early in the morning on January 25th, 2015 in the Queyras mountain range of France which is close to the border with Italy.
What makes this story even more shocking and sad is that this brings the total deaths due to avalanches in Alps to 39 already this winter
[the above interactive map shows the locations of each 2014/15 Alps avalanche death]
Rescue efforts were restricted by fierce weather and excessive snow fall in the region. Some theories proposed by rescuers, based on the recovery of the bodies were that the group may have detached a wind loaded slab which triggered the avalanche.
All of the deceased skiers are reported to belong to a local branch of the French skiing federation, which was holding a national conference on Sunday. Everybody in the group is said to be experience skiers and mountaineers and knew the area well. At the time was a three-out-of-five risk of an avalanche in the Queyras range and there was other documented avalanches in the region.
Snowbrains reported the death of friend and fellow skier mountaineer “American Dave” Rosenbarger on Friday in Chamonix. At the same time the Freeride World Tour has its first stop in Chamonix this weekend. There seems to be a lot of avalanche activity in the region right now due to recent snowfalls events and low snowpack. Does the FWT take this into consideration when planning events and competitions?