Three fatal accidents (avalanches and a fall) in the French Chartreuse

By meteomorris on 4 December 2017 · 0

Avalanches and a fall claimed the lives of the three tour skiers last weekend. Two fatal accidents took place in the French Chartreuse. The Chartreuse is a mountain range justwest of the Alps with ski resorts such as Saint Pierre de Chartreuse, Col de Porte and Domaine du Sappey du Chartreuse. The mountain range is situated in the department of the Isère and is frequently visited by freeriders, skiers, snowboarders and tour skiers from Grenoble during the weekend. (source)

Two fatalities on the Petit Som

Two tour skiers of 44 and 58 years old were found dead on the faces of the Petit Som (almost 2000 meter) on Sunday. They went for a backcountry ski tour on on Saturday, but didn't return by the end of the day. Their families alarmed the rescue services. It was not until Sunday that their bodies could be located in the vicinity of the Pas du Loup. It is still unclear whether if it was a spontaneous avalanche, or has been triggered by the skiers.

Slope angle map (source: wePowder Pro
Slope angle map (source: wePowder Pro

Fatality on the Dent de Crolles

A 47-year-old skier who was touring in the backcountry alone fell to his death on Saturday. He as touring in the proximity of the Dent de Crolles. Rescue services were alarmed when the man did not return by the end of the day and a number of soldiers continued to search during the night. The man was found on Sunday. According to the local authorities, it is not yet clear what the exact cause of the fall of the man is. It could be possible that a very small avalanche (slide) has pushed the man from a rocky face.

Slope angle map (source: wePowder Pro
Slope angle map (source: wePowder Pro

Exact avalanche danger not clear

There is currently a snow cover of about 30-75 cm between 1500 and 2000 meters in the Chartreuse. It's been warm in the beginning of last week and it snowed later in the week. No detailed avalanche forecast with an estimated avalanche risk has been issued yet. However, an avalanche forecast was issued on Sunday, in which there was a warning about unstable layers near peaks and ridges. It is unclear at this moment what the avalanche forecast from Meteo France looked like at the start of the weekend. (source)


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