Sad news again coming in from Austria. Two people died in a slab avalanche in Kals am Großglockner in the ski area of Kals - Matrei. The were riding off-piste on Friday. A friend was waiting for them at the valley station, but they never showed up. They were caught by a big slab avalanche at around 1 PM.
The were caught by a slab avalanche of 400 meters long and 100 meters wide. They were skiing from the 'Kals-Matreier-Törls' (around 2300 meters) in the direction to Matrei and should have returned to the ski area close to the valley station 'Happeck'. The avalanche wasn't visible from the resort and was discovered by two locals who were skiing the same route.
The 25-year-old could only be found dead that day. His body was found two meters deep. They located the body of his friend on Saturday morning (the search was too dangerous on Friday night). He was carried away in a different gully and his body was found one meter deep. Both the German riders were equipped with avalanche beacons and airbags. The beacon of the second rider didn't give a signal an the rescue team (about 50 people) had to probe the avalanche debris.
There also was a big avalanche in Kühtai on Friday. Two persons were partly covered by a slab avalanche close to the Kaisergondelbahn. They could be freed without injuries fortunately. Because it wasn't clear if there were more people caught by the avalanche, a group of 150 people (mountain rescue, ski teachers and volunteers) kept on searching till the evening. Our thoughts are with their families and friends.
The avalanche danger today in Tyrol was MODERATE (3 on a scale of 5), with a high risk of wind slabs above 2300 meters and a high risk of 'gleitschnee' avalanches below that altitude (on alpine meadows). Ride safe everybody!