Already 33 avalanche fatalities


By meteomorris on 25 January 2015 · 3

Winter started quite late this season and we therefore warn you for a very unstable snow cover. Especially Austria hit the negative jackpot the last time. To give you an idea of where and when the deadly avalanches have occurred, we have developed the following map for you. We also share the sheet in which we keep this season accidents at, so we all can learn from it.

Statistics

Statistics are dry and cold, but figures get a face when you think of the family of the two brothers who were in an avalanche in the Mont Blanc massif. Or what about the members of the Junior US ski team that lost two of their buddies in an avalanche in Sölden. Not to mention the woman who was waiting for her husband to return from the Madrisa Tour. But figures also provide clues for further research.

Below you'll find the sheet with all accidents so far (and known). You will successively see the location, the date, the current avalanche danger at the time of the avalanche, altitude, exposition, steepness, the number of victims, what they were doing and a link to a news story. Scroll through it once.

Remarkable

If we check out these numbers from a more statistical perspective on accidents than a number of cases stand out.

  • First, it is striking that the majority of victims are skiers. You usually see that these kind of numbers only pop up at the end of the season.

  • Secondly, it is striking how many victims there are so early in the season in Austria (especially Tyrol) and Italy. Indeed, it is highly unusual that Austria and Italy have the dubious honor of having the most avalanche victims.

  • Thirdly, it is striking how many skiers are on their way on their own, which means that there's no one to rescue them when they're in an avalanche. Why do they go out there alone? Do they underestimate the risk?

  • Not really remarkable, because we see it every year, but it is painful to see that people are getting into the backcountry without an avalanche beacon. If you don't have it with you, it's very hard to find you. Really, it's like a needle in a haystack.

Situation still unstable

If you're going to the Alps the next couple of days, be alert. Check your local daily avalanche bulletin, make sure you have the right gear with you and that you have the right knowledge. No knowledge? Are you not sure? Say no to off piste and wait for conditions to improve. The season is still long.

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