Swiss avalanche deaths are up this season. Significantly more people have been killed than the latest 20-year average. The majority of victims were off-piste skiers or snowboarders. The grim statistics come in a report by the Swiss Institute for Snow & Avalanche Research (SLF) and cover the period from 1st October 2020 to 30th March 2021.
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Two people caught in a Swiss avalanche were rescued after their dogs barked for help. The barking attracted the attention of nearby snowshoers who were able to dig them out.
“The dogs attracted the attention of a group of snowshoers who were some distance away in the same valley but had not witnessed the avalanche.”
About 15-20 minutes after the avalanche, the group was at the scene, where one of the avalanche victims’ hands was visible; the other person was buried entirely, Rega said. Both were dug out slightly injured and with mild hypothermia. Rega then flew them by helicopter to hospital.
There have been many fatal avalanches recently in the Alps. Some of the people caught were inexperienced, but professionals have also died.
Last week there were five fatalities in France. Additional accidents occurred in France over the weekend.
There was at least one fatal avalanche in Italy.
Switzerland, where ski resorts are open, has had 16 avalanche deaths so far this winter.
An avalanche accident killed one skier in Switzerland. Authorities in the Swiss canton of Nidwalden said one off-piste skier among a group of five people was killed after getting caught in an avalanche Monday in the Titlis area, south of Lucerne. Rescue teams were not able to resuscitate the 23-year-old Swiss citizen after he was rescued.