On Sunday afternoon at 2 pm, two skiers triggered an avalanche in the Hintertux Glacier area located in the Tyrol region of Austria on the Zillertal Alps. The two men who were locals of the region had been ski touring off-piste on a north-facing ridge in steep terrain at about 10,750′ elevation when the avalanche occurred.
The older of the two men, age 44, was quickly found by the rescue team only partially buried and immediately was dug out. He was flown to a hospital and is now in a stable condition. The younger man, age 25, had been fully buried and required a rescue team with an avalanche rescue dog to be found. It took the team a few hours before they found and uncovered the man who was deceased.
This was one of two avalanches to transpire on Sunday in Austria. The second avalanche occurred in the Kaunertal Valley also located in the Tyrol region, southwest of the Hintertux Glacier. Fortunately, no injuries or fatalities were reported in Kaunertal. These are very unfortunate and disheartening events, but with snow flying all over North America and Europe it’s good to keep in mind safe and smart backcountry travel techniques when venturing into snow laden terrain at or beyond the resorts.