Three people killed in an avalanche near Tweng


By Arjen on 6 December 2021 · 0

(c) Bergrettung Salzburg
(c) Bergrettung Salzburg

On Saturday December 4, an avalanche in the Tauern region near Tweng (roughly behind Obertauern) killed three young ski tourers. They were part of a group of eleven, eight of whom were carried away by the avalanche. Three of them were completely buried. Two others were taken to hospital.

Northeast face

While touring up the Lackenspitz, they triggered an avalanche on a northeast face. It was quite a steep incline, over 40 degrees steep in places. In the end, more than 70 mountain rescuers were searching. It is striking that of the group of eleven, four people had no avalanche gear at all. Three people had an airbag, one of which could not pull it (and this person was completely buried). One of the other persons who had an airbag on and was able to pull it was also completely buried under the snow. Two of the three people were between 2.5 and 4 meters deep under the snow...

Analysis of the Bergrettung Salzburg

Meanwhile, the Bergrettung Salzburg has made an analysis of the avalanche. Below are their findings:

  • Slab avalanche with dry snow
  • Anriss was 30 centimeters
  • Steepness of the terrain: 35 to 40 degrees
  • Width: 200 meters
  • Length 500 meters

Terrain overview (Source: AEG Robert Hauer) Red = avalanche, Blue = way up, Orange = victims
Terrain overview (Source: AEG Robert Hauer) Red = avalanche, Blue = way up, Orange = victims
Terrain overview (Source: AEG Robert Hauer) Red = avalanche, Blue = way up, Orange = victims
Terrain overview (Source: AEG Robert Hauer) Red = avalanche, Blue = way up, Orange = victims
Terrain overview (Source: AEG Robert Hauer) Red = avalanche, Blue = way up, Orange = victims
Terrain overview (Source: AEG Robert Hauer) Red = avalanche, Blue = way up, Orange = victims

What caused it?

Fresh wind-drifted snow from the last two days on a thin and weak old snow layer. Ultimately, the avalanche was triggered by the group itself (too much weight).

If you go to the Alps in the near future: ride safe. RIP to the victims. Our thoughts go out to their families and friends...


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