The weekend avalanche death toll has risen to 5 after four skiers were killed in Switzerland and one skier died in France. The Alps were packed with vacationers this past weekend.
A male skier in his 50s was killed in an avalanche on February 22nd, 2015 in the French Alps. He was skiing with three other skiers when the avalanche struck. All four were caught in the avalanche. Two of the surviving skiers were severely injured in the slide and one woman was uninjured.
The avalanche occurred at 1:30pm at an elevation of 1,700m (5,577-feet) in the Taillefer range of the French alps near the town of Val d’Isere about 25 miles south of Grenoble.
This was the 28th avalanche death in France this winter. There have been 25 avalanche deaths in Switzerland this year. There have been over 80 avalanche deaths in Europe this year.
All of four of the skiers involved in the avalanche were local French residents and were wearing avalanche beacons which allowed rescuers to locate them. The man who passed away was buried for over an hour.
Two helicopters were involved in the rescue operation. Those helicopters dropped rescuers just above the area where the avalanche occurred. Dense clouds hindered the rescue operation.
The two injured skiers were airlifted to a hospital in Grenoble and were treated for fractured limbs and hypothermia.