21-year old skier killed by avalanche in Obertauern

By Arjen on 30 December 2017 · 1

A lot of avalanches came down in the Alps since Christmas, with multiple people getting caught. It was a terrible day in Obertauern yesterday, where a 21-year old freerider from Slovenia died after he was completely buried in an avalanche.

Slope angle Zehnerkar/Gamsspitzl
Slope angle Zehnerkar/Gamsspitzl

Two persons caught by the avalanche

A family of five triggered a slab in a steep gully in the off-piste in Obertauern. Two people were caught by the avalanche, one of them was completely buried. This steep gully on the Gamsspitzl isn't visible from the slope and you can only reach it with a short hike. The descent initially goes through a steep couloir with a northwest exposition.

The couloir from above (archive)
The couloir from above (archive)

The couloir from below (archive)
The couloir from below (archive)

A lot of snow has been transported the last couple of days and there's a lot of wind-drifted snow causing dangerous wind slabs. The avalanche was 400 meters long. The group was on its way with the right equipment (avalanche beacon, shovel and prove) and they were familiar with the terrain. They also carried avalanche airbags, but the packs weren't deployed. The group managed to locate and free the skier who was completely buried before mountain rescue arrived, but he passed away in the evening. Our thoughts are with family and friends...




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