Yesterday around noon a group of three men skiing in Lech-Zurs, Austria triggered an avalanche, which caused the burial of a single skier from their party. The group consisted of one guide and two Dutchman who were skiing off-piste on the Trittkopf Gamsmulde (2720 meters). One of the Dutchman, 33-years old from Amsterdam, was caught in the avalanche and buried completely. The avalanche danger rating in the area was “considerable” at the time of the incident.
At the scene, the avalanche crown was 80 meters wide and ran for 300 meters. The ski guide had alerted authorities and rescue personnel, who were on site via helicopter within minutes. With the aid of the rescue teams, the Dutchman was retrieved from under 1.5 meters of avalanche debris in approximately ten minutes. However, the man did not survive.
Even with the tremendous efforts of the party and rescue teams, this incident is the third fatal avalanche for Austria in this week alone. Stay safe when traveling in the backcountry and be aware of avalanches and the many other hazards when traveling off-piste.