Huge avalanche kills four in Val d’Isére

11th January 2011, by Chris Gill

In 2006 Val got hit by this monster ...

In 2006 Val got hit by this monster ...

A massive avalanche in the French resort of Val d’Isére has left four skiers dead, including one Briton.

The avalanche struck at 10:30am on Tuesday 11 January and measured almost 300m wide and 750m long. It broke off at 2800m in the Vallonnets / Grand Vallons area of the resort, above Le Fornet, and descended as far as the Isére stream.

The victims were skiing as part of an off-piste group of seven, including their instructor, when they were swept away. All were carrying transceivers and located quickly, but sadly four died.

A fifth person was partly buried, but survived uninjured. According to Henry’s Avalanche Talk (HAT), the group were with Top Ski and led by guide Didier Moreau, who survived.

A spokesman for the mountain rescue said: ‘It was a very, very big avalanche. We don’t yet know what set it off. We have launched an investigation.’ Although the region has received up to half a metre of fresh snow during the past few days, local avalanche warnings were moderate – level two, rising to three (on a scale of five) – but with a risk of weakly-bonded layers of old snow above 2200m. North-facing slopes are especially prone.

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