Skier Dies After Avalanche in Valais Region, Switzerland

SnowBrains | | AvalancheAvalanche

mittlenberghuette_winter_2013Mittlenburg hut in the Binn Valley, where the couple were headede. photo: mittlenberg.ce

A 40-year old man has died in the Valais canton of Switzerland. The man was caught in a small avalanche, while traveling near the town of Binn, in the Goms Valley, en route to the Mittlenberg hut with his girlfriend. The man was able to free himself, but the two realized they couldn’t make it to the hut because night had fallen and fog rolled in.

offenhorn binnSki touring the Binn Valley, Offenhorn (3235m) is the peak in the background, and is one of the highest peaks surrounding the valley. photo:

The two spent the night in an igloo, and the woman called rescue personnel in the morning when the man told her he felt unwell. By the time the rescue personnel arrived, the man was dead. It is unclear whether he died as a result of injuries or due to hypothermia and exposure after spending the night in the mountains.

At this point there are still a lot of variables and unknowns in this report. Was the slide human triggered or natural? Was the couple travelling in fog and lost their route? Did the man die from injuries or exposure? Despite all this, the two were prepared with the equipment and knowledge necessary to spend a night in the mountains when the shit hit the fan.

The Binn Valley is part of the Tour du Soleil, a hut-to-hut ski tour that winds from Realp to Binn.

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