Skiers rescued after avalanche in Tignes
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
This incident involved a group of skiers who were undergoing instructor training, and took place in the Tovière sector- just under the Aeroski lift for people who are familiar with Tignes. Three people were taken in the avalanche; one self rescued, the other was quickly located, but unfortunately the third was only recovered after 40 minutes under the snow. None of the group was wearing an avalanche transceiver and the final victim was only found following probe line searches involving more than 200 people. Tragically this victim was in a state of cardiac arrest by the time she was recovered, and she died in hospital.
The avalanche risk was level 4 at the time.
Gravity Protection Comment: This incident occured very close to a marked piste and within sight of the resort. It's very easy to relax your guard in these situations and be lulled into a false sense of safety. Remember, many avalanche accidents happen just off-piste. Secondly, we can't know for certain that the outcome would have been different if the group had been wearing transceivers, but it is highly likely that all would have been located much more quickly. If you go off piste, even a little, you should have the appropriate safety equipment.