Avalanche fatailities in Swiss Alps rises to 25

high avalanche risk continuesTwenty five winter sports enthusiasts have died already this season in Switzerland alone, with almost four times that number dying in the Alps as a whole.

I talked about the risks and how to mitigate them in a previous blog, so I won’t repeat myself.

However, when I read the Guardian report on the latest incident, apparently concerning a party of Italian cross-country skiers, my interested was piqued. How on earth could cross-country skiers be at avalanche risk? The good news was thwey were carrying transponders… wait a minute, is there a hard core of cross-country skiers who carry transponders in case of an avalanche. I mean those hearty types who walk in two carefully manicured tracks in their skis or who rhythmically skate around the high valley floors?

And the location. Great Saint Bernard Pass! Wait a minute, that is for hard core freeriders… and now it makes sense, they were going across the snowy countryside, in fact they were probably going across countries. Suddenly cross-country skiing has taken on a wholly different image in my mind.

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