Trainee Mountain Guide Killed by Avalanche in French Alps

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Ceillac, avalanche
Ceillac. Credit:

A 29-year-old trainee high mountain guide has been killed in an avalanche above the town of Ceillac in the Hautes-Alpes, the southern French Alps.

The avalanche occurred around 11:30 am on Friday, November 4th, in the Sainte-Anne valley Font Sancte north couloir. The man and his partner were climbing the couloir and roped together when the avalanche struck. The guide was second on the rope and was carried 650 feet down the couloir.

The avalanche risk was rated one at the time on a scale of five where five is the highest. The forecast warned of some natural activity due to the fresh snow on steep slopes with windblown snow at altitude. Around two to six inches of snow was expected.

A rescue operation in adverse weather conditions was put in place to recover the survivor, a German national, and locate the victim, a resident of Val des Prés. A rescue dog found the guide’s body some two hours after the avalanche.

An investigation is underway.

Pin marks the location of Ceillac, France.

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