7 Deaths last week in the French Alps

Those of you off for some late season ski touring or mountaineering in the alps please be very careful of the conditions at the moment. Over 50 people have died in avalanches this year, the worst season for over 25 years. Add to that the unseasonally icy conditions and you can see the need for extra vigilance at the moment.

As PisteHors.com warned last Sunday (27/5) in their Snow Reports section the cold end to May has brought Artic conditions to the mountains with extremely hard snow and ice present. This was covered by fresh snow in one of the coldest starts to June for 50 years. Although not as prolific as avalanches, falls due to slides and crevasses, are a major cause of death in the mountains.

At least seven mountaineers have been killed over the last two weekends in the French Alps. Yesterday a Belgium ski tourer fell 1000 meters to his death while descending the Aiguille du Midi ridge in the Mont Blanc range. The 46 year old Limbourg man was wearing crampons with his skis fixed to his rucksack. He was not roped to a friend who was unhurt. The accident occurred at 3,800 meters. The ridge is served by the Aiguille du Midi cable car and is the start point of many ski tours in the area including the ascension of Mont-Blanc and the Vallée Blanche.

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