Avalanche victim rescued after 2 hours and 40 minutes

By Rogier on 29 January 2021 · 2

The victim was found under eight feet of snow. Image: Facebook Gendarmerie Savoie
The victim was found under eight feet of snow. Image: Facebook Gendarmerie Savoie

Several large avalanches have come down above Val d'Isère yesterday, one of these avalanches buried an unfortunate snowshoe hiker. The person in question was found under 2.5 meters of snow after a large-scale search by the PGHM together with mountain rescue, fire brigade, guides and ski instructors and after 2 hours and 40 minutes of searching. It may be called a small miracle that this avalanche victim is still alive.

Localized thanks to Wolfhound

On the official facebook account of the Gendarmerie de la Savoie you can read the following:

"Aujourd'hui à Val d'Isère, une importante opération de recherches a été menée par les pisteurs-secouristes et le PGHM pour retrouver un randonneur en raquettes enseveli dans une avalanche sous 2,5 m de neige‼️ Grâce à la mobilisation de près de 100 personnes : gendarmes du PGHM et du groupe montagne de la compagnie d'Albertville, pisteurs-secouristes, guides, moniteurs de ski et sapeurs-pompiers, l'homme a été retrouvé en vie après 2 heures 40 de recherches. Il a été finalement découvert grâce au dispositif Wolfhound mis en œuvre par un secouriste du PGHM. Cet appareil permet de localiser les téléphones portables en fonction."

He was eventually located thanks to the so-called Wolfhound device used by a mountain rescuer. This device makes it possible to locate working mobile phones.

Miracle and lesson

It may be called a small miracle that the victim was still alive from under the snow after almost 3 hours. But this also indicates that should you ever find yourself in an avalanche search situation, you should not give up hope and hope until you find the victim.

Screenshot of the avalanche forecast in the Savoie
Screenshot of the avalanche forecast in the Savoie

Avalanche danger 5

Meteo France is currently indicating an avalanche risk 5 for Savoie. The current conditions are extremely dangerous in almost the entire Alps. Large spontaneous avalanches are possible. Several roads have been closed and with the heavy rain and snowfall predicted for today and tomorrow, the danger will not decrease much for the next 24 to 48 hours.


  • elecas
    elecas op 31 January 2021 · 09:40
    In Tirol things are not better. Yesterday 2 deads, one of them a 16 years old kid without LVS. Also a massive avalanche close to Kühtai, luckily no deads even debris enter a piste...
    Last weekend other 15 years old in Mayrhofen...

    More info about the accidents:

  • Cappsy
    Cappsy op 5 February 2021 · 20:28
    I read that the hiker was found upright close to a tree and the theory was the proximity allowed an air pocket to form.


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