Avalanches pose risk for late-season skiers

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Avalanches pose risk for late-season skiers
Emergency rescue officials responding to an avalanche accident earlier this season. Photo Valais cantonal police:

Experts are warning of a significant avalanche risk in regions of the Swiss Alps this week, which for many ski resorts marks the close of the season.


Up to a metre of the white stuff has fallen in areas above 2,500 metres in altitude over the past several days.

The snow cover is good news for lift operators but avalanche experts are warning that conditions in some areas are treacherous.

They are likely to become more dangerous as the freezing level is forecast to rise to the 3,000-metre level on Wednesday.

This will clearly boost the risk of avalanches during the course of the day, the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research says.

The institute said there was a marked danger of snow slides across the Swiss Alps, from Vaud and Valais to Graubünden and Saint Gallen.

Already in 2014-2015, 29 people have died from avalanches in Switzerland , making it the most deadly winter season since 2009-2010.

Among the latest victims was a 30-year-old British expat man who died on March 28th while snow boarding with his 31-year-old brother in the Hannibal couloir area of Mount Vélan, near Bourg Saint Pierre in the canton of Valais.

The accident occurred a day after another avalanche in Valais swept a group of seven people down a slope in the Pigne d-Arolla mountain region, killing a 60-year-old German man.


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