The snowboarders were traversing off-piste around noon today when they triggered a huge slide that came onto the blue piste #33 run, according to police. Both victims were equipped with beacons, and one even managed to trigger his avalanche airbag, but unfortunately, help came too late.
The first search teams arrived within minutes of the alarm being raised and were able to locate the victims. The rescue operation involved 60 people, and included two ambulance helicopters, a police helicopter, and two dogs were in use.
The avalanche crown was 28″, with the avalanche breaking into the valley via a channel about 700 to 1,000-feet long. The two men were buried beneath 3-feet of snow.
The area had just received 2-feet of fresh snow, but the area was deemed safe by the local site manager. Because it is so early in the season, the daily avalanche forecast and warning service are not yet in operation, although yesterday a local blog warned: “winter sports enthusiasts and mountaineers to be more cautious, as lots of snow had already accumulated, and there is an increased likelihood of avalanche accidents.”