A group of four riders triggered an avalanche today in the trees near La Tzoumaz, which is close to Verbier and part of the ski area Les 4 Vallées. Two of them survived, but unfortunately two of them didn't survive the avalanche.
The avalanche danger was 3 on a scale of 5 today, with increased risks on all expositions. The accident happened around 2.20 PM on Saturday. Five helicopters from Air Glaciers and Air Zermatt, several guides and rescue dogs have been searching the site looking for more victims. They ended the operation at around 6 PM. You can find more information here.
The moment it is too difficult for most skiers and boarders to make their turns, the trees become a spot on the mountain that's safer than the high alpine. Partly because it's lower on the mountain, partly because they often had less wind, partly because they often had less freshies. But the trees have to be tight! Have a look at the short video below. And even then you have to watch out in the more open spaces.
The avalanche danger in the Alps is 'Considerale' (3 on a scale of 5) or 'High' (4 on a scale of 5) at the moment. More and more people venture off-piste, but we have to do that with the right gear and the right knowledge. Already 17 people died because of avalanches this winter. Do you have the right knowledge to ride off-piste? Test it yourself and start with the first capital of the Mountain Academy for free! No knowledge? Stay on the marked slopes or hire a mountain guide!