Multiple backcountry skiers, a total of eighteen individuals, were attempting to reach the Öfapass in Montafon last Saturday. Around 10:25 AM, when the first group arrived at approximately 2,200 meters, an avalanche occurred. Fourteen of the eighteen skiers were swept away by the avalanche. Ten individuals were only partially buried and were able to free themselves. The other four backcountry skiers were fully buried but were fortunately located and rescued quickly. Three winter sports enthusiasts were injured by the avalanche in Montafon.
The avalanche equipment saved the backcountry skiers. There was level three avalanche danger in the area yesterday. Additionally, there was poor visibility due to mist and light snow, preventing a helicopter from being deployed. To assist the injured, 26 mountain rescuers from the Vandans and Schruns-Tschagguns mountain rescue services were deployed, along with two individuals from the Alpinpolizei. According to the mountain rescue team, the winter sports enthusiasts were very lucky in this avalanche in Montafon. It could have ended differently.
Avalanche danger still there
Mountain rescuer Rupert Pfefferkorn is still calling for caution via the ORF. The situation in the mountains is still critical. “Before you go backcountry skiing and enter difficult terrain, you should carefully consider how a rescue can actually take place and how far you can go. Before venturing into certain areas, it is wise to find out what it is really like there.” The mountain rescuer warns not to go out without enough knowledge.