Switzerland's highest court has convicted three skiers of not taking adequate care after they provoked an avalanche in 2009 in Anzère, Valais, that injured two people.
The three off-piste skiers were originally convicted by a district court, but that decision was overturned on appeal to the cantonal court.
But the Federal Court in Lausanne allowed a subsequent appeal by the public prosecutor against the cantonal court decision.
In its ruling at the end of November, made public by Swiss media
on Tuesday, the court said taking into account the trio's experience and the signs warning of avalanches, they should not have crossed the slope above the area where the avalanche hit. In doing so they violated their duty of care.
Given the marked risk of avalanche, their behaviour was likely to have caused it.
Nevertheless, on Tuesday morning a ski-tourer provoked an avalanche in Saas-Fee, setting off a 4m high wave of snow, reported Le Matin
More than 50 rescue workers attended the scene but after three hours of work, no victims were discovered.