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Saturday March 3, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Another two people have died and three people are missing. It follows 7 deaths in France last week after heavy snow. UPDATED

In the latest incident a French and Belgian skier were killed in Chamonix.

They were skiing off piste in the Vallorcine area on Sunday.

It brings the death toll this year in France to 25.

Also on Sunday a Swiss national was swept away in Samoens but the body has not been found.

The man's wife was also buried in snow, but she escaped with minor injuries.

Meanwhile in Planay in the Tarentaise Valley rescuers have been searching for two skiers, aged 47 and 49, who were caught in an avalanche  while skiing off-piste.

Following the recent tragedies the Minister of the Interior for France, Gerard Collomb, has warned people to be careful and exercise caution.

"I urge all those who practice winter sports to take the utmost caution. Following the instructions of the authorities is essential in order for people not to endanger themselves or our rescue teams," he said.  

Caution is urgedCaution is urged

Last week 7 people died in France, 4  near the ski resort of Entraunes in the southern French Alps near the border with Italy.   

The people were skiing off piste near the Mercantour National Park.  

The nationalities of the victims have not been released.
They were part of a group of six being led by a mountain guide.

All were said to be experienced off piste skiers.

The guide was buried in the slide and was dug out.  

The authorities are now questioning the guide who may face charges according to the  rosecutor of Nice who is leading the investigations. 

Meanwhile a 25-year old woman died in La Grave in an avalanche on Friday and an avalanche in the French Pyrenees hit five Spanish skiers on Saturday.

Two people were killed.

The accident happened near the Aragnouet-Bielsa tunnel linking Spain and France.

Three of the skiers dug themselves out.

One died at the scene and the other died after being taken to hospital in Toulouse, France.

There have been a series of accidents in the Alps recently with a British man killed near Alpe d'Huez. 

See this earlier PlanetSKI story.
16 people have died in France this winter in avalanches and accidents.

13 people have died in avalanches in Switzerland.

Take care off pisteTake care off piste

The authorities are advising caution after the recent snow in the Alps.

Stay aware of the conditions, seek the advice of experts in your resort and area and don't take any risks.

A level 3 dictates that you should not ski on a slope steeper that 30 degrees - or even one that has a 30-degree slope above it.

If you want to head off piste then it's best to do so with a qualified instructor or mountain guide.

However that is not without its risk too as can be seen in the latest incident.

It is advised to sign up for an off piste safety course to build up your knowledge and experience, preparing you better for unpredictable and harsh mountain conditions.
Image from Gallatin National Forest Avalanche CentreGallatin National Forest Avalanche Centre

There have been numerous avalanches in the USA after recent heavy snow.
Five skiers were rescued Friday after an avalanche at Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, California.

The avalanche happened inbounds near the Olympic Lady chairlift.

Five people, three males and two females, were rescued by the ski patrol. 

In China Peak ski resort in California a 35-year-old snowboarder suffocated after falling head-first into deep fresh powder snow.

The resort has just recieved almost 2m of snow in a latest storm.

The incident happened near Chair 2 in the trees between the Exhibition and Tamarack runs.

The snowboarder was off the prepared ski runs at the time.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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