Aussie Family caught in St Anton Avalanche - One killed

Discussion in 'Europe' started by davekinkead, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. davekinkead

    davekinkead Hard Yards

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    Local news reporting an Aussie family caught in an avalanche while skiing offpiste in St Anton. Tragically, one son was killed.

    https://www.tt.com/panorama/unfall/...lawine-in-st-anton-erfasst-16-jaehriger-starb

    Avy risk here in Austria is crazy at the moment - at critical (4) for most of Tirol and catastrophic (5) for parts of Salzburgerland & Steiermark. We are also seeing fatalities from NARSID just off the pistes which is very rare for Europe.

    Stay safe - make sure you know the risks before venturing out.
     
  2. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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  3. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    So tragic.
    We were strongly warned never to venture off the marked pistes and routes in St Anton unless we had a guide. So temptng but potentially so dangerous. It's not clear that this family even meant to be in that spot.
     
  4. crackson

    crackson A Local
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    Two of four hit by avalanche while waiting for rescue from dangerous position.

    Victim was swept to valley floor.

    RIP
     
  5. Olgreg

    Olgreg One of Us
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    Dreadful. Even a guide is no guarantee in the conditions they have experienced there. So sad.
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
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    As we have been reporting in the Europe 2018/19 thread in the last week or so the avi rating in Tirol has been at 4 for several days now and even 5 in other parts. Going offpiste at the moment is just not a good option.
     
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  7. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    Last time I was in Austria we left a day early because of a 4 rating. On the way out of town I flew the drone up to take some pics and you could see heaps of natural releases.
     
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  8. Lifes2good

    Lifes2good Addicted

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    Oh god that is so sad. It sounds like they accidentally got into that position.
     
  9. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty!
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    Just tragic.
    :cry:
     
  10. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    Terrible news. It highlights my theory that you shouldn't go off piste unless you know where the other end is, particularly in Europe where they treat people like grownups.

    I saw a couple of things in Val d'Isere on the Face Bellevarde that sheeted this home to me. The first was a set of tracks that led into some avalanche debris. There were no tracks coming out. Many years later I was with an instructor who pointed out some skiers. He said that they had 3 options. A cliff jump. An enormous boot slog. Or calling in a heli. There were no other ways out.
     
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  11. skinavy

    skinavy One of Us

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    Even on piste could be sketchy at the moment. Give it a few days to settle, let Avy control do their thing and then get out there. I've worn transceiver a few times with no intent of going out of bounds in Europe.
     
  12. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable
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    Such an incredibly sad event.
     
  13. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    Yeap, these days the track could easily just be a speed rider skiing off the cliff with a paraglider wing. Particularly where I'm at right now, it's a big thing.
     
  14. davekinkead

    davekinkead Hard Yards

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    Too true. 6 school kids hit by an avy on this piste in Pongau. Luckily none seriously injured. https://salzburg.orf.at/news/stories/2957892/

    I'm going nuts sitting inside watching all this snow fall but its just too dangerous out there. Normally, it would be ok to ski tree runs lower down the valley but people are even drowning in treewells and snow drifts.
     
  15. Whatever really

    Whatever really Hard Yards

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    Yeah I wore one inbound in whistler a couple of times over the last two weeks,
    Mainly in fear of large release washing through but also for the groomers it was just too deep.
    I also saw people doing insane things that I’m sure they just didn’t know the consequences of like dropping off huge cornices or cutting a slope and standing under them.

    So sad for this family.
     
  16. ojisan

    ojisan Part of the Furniture
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  17. pykie87

    pykie87 First Runs

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    I left St Anton around a week ago.

    Was chatting to the locals, we had an ava rating of 4 for one day and the entire resort was closed until about midday.

    The locals were telling me when they have a 5 rating, which they did for 3 days last year, they close the entire town, the train station, roads in etc.

    Not sure why it was open if it was a 4 rating. It must be close to a 5 now.
     
  18. Hot_ham on Rye

    Hot_ham on Rye Hard Yards

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    This is a sad,sad event particularly for us that embellish everything about what we do,it is in our hearts...
    I can't even imagine what the fam is going through now.....our two kids now in their late twenties,when this age were doing just this with us over there, skiing the awesome terrain and long pitches in Au and Swiss...oh ,oh.......
    And of course, our condolences to his family.....
     
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  19. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

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    Not that we are going to know but hopefully they didn't intentionally go out of bounds in those conditions. I mean it looked awful condition wise. Very sad anyway :(
     
  20. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    4 - reconsider skiing at all
    5 - don't go outside
     
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  21. Johnb007

    Johnb007 Hard Yards

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    Pubs are a good alternative. Many alpine towns are lovely, so stroll around town and enjoy the ambiance. Austria in particular has an abundance of Ye olde ambiance to enjoy.
     
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  22. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    A mate was there last year in a period of 4 and 5 ratings. At 5 they couldn’t go into town as the roads were closed, train closed, going beyond the immediate part of the town (Pettnau) was discouraged.
     
  23. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us
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    this is so tragic my thoughts are with the family
     
  24. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    I have a lad a little younger.
    I simply cannot imagine losing him next to me like that.
     
  25. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    We were in st anton when all the lifts were shut. Pubs were overflowing and waiting time for food was horrendous, if you could get in at all. Managed to squeeze in next to an interesting group of norwegians. They were there on what they called a jubilee - their employer paid for the trip to celebrate a milestone for the company. It sounded like it was common practice. We coud learn a lot from those Scandinavians
     
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  26. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
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    It’s really really tragic but 291 people drowned in Australia in the year 17/18, avi deaths in Switzerland were 26 in17/18 and in USA 25, apparently the estimate is 150 per year worldwide.
    RIP :(:(
     
  27. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    This.
    It's a daily occurrence over summer in Australia .
    It's not as sensational as a Avie.
     
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  28. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us
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    I thought the stats were around 70 per year in the Euro alps, which I thought low considering the volume of people & characteristics of the mountains. Like drowning, a risk of a way of life there.

    We get a lot of Euro's completely unprepared for our lively oceans here & plenty of Aussie's go to Alps largely unprepared for the consequential nature of their mountains.
     
  29. davekinkead

    davekinkead Hard Yards

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  30. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    Like exploiting the north sea oilfields whilst pretending to be Greenies? LOL
     
    #30 piolet, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  31. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    rather like countries that intern refugees while pretending to be campaigners for human rights LOL
     
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  32. shabu_shabu

    shabu_shabu Addicted

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  33. Gimped

    Gimped Addicted

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  34. teckel

    teckel Old n' Crusty
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    Not impressed with them blaming ski patrol. If they hadn't got themselves into the situation in the first place ...
    Very sorry for them though. Must be bloody awful. Hopefully their blame apportioning is merely their way of dealing with their grief.
     
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  35. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty!
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    It doesn’t sound like they are “blaming” patrol, but rather stating sad facts.
     
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  36. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    the article didn't sound like they were blaming ski patrol, just saying what they thought triggered it
     
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  37. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    snap
     
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  38. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty!
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    I had considered that it was a possibility.
    Firstly, there was a statement by the rescuers that they would not speculate about the cause of the avalanche until investigations were complete. Second most reports said they had called for help and it hit while they were waiting for that help. Third, the rescuers were on the scene pretty much immediately as the avalanche came to rest.

    But speculation would’ve helped no one. You can only go on the information you have at the time.

    I had also read from a trusted source that they were in the area by mistake due to whiteout conditions and losing their way, having intended being on piste. This current message from the parents seems to contradict this “skiing in between pistes”. I don’t know. Perhaps, “we lost our way in white out conditions” was assumed by friends to be from on piste to off piste.

    Whatever the actual facts what is consistent is:
    *Tragedy for a family with the loss of a son, particularly when people start pointing fingers at parents for poor decision making and putting their kids in harms way.:(
    *Awful experience for the rescuers, particularly if there is any question that they may have unintentionally triggered the slide that led to such tragic consequences.:(

    One thing from this that I’d like all our Euro skiers to be aware of (if they’re not already) is that a 3/5 avy warning is actually where most of the avalanche deaths occur. It’s the level that people see as acceptable risk and still ski, whereas at 4 and 5 they stay home or stay on piste. Knowledge is power, the power to make informed decisions.
     
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  39. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable
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    A combination of circumstance and decision to end up in the awful terrain trap they found themselves in. This is front side St Anton, right in the main area just above the village.

    A very sad situation.
     
  40. Whatever really

    Whatever really Hard Yards

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    From reading this I cringe that they attempted to enter from above in a avalanche trap to rescue people below,
    But without knowing the terrain it may have been the only option.
    Sad situation to have to hear you have lost a child then to have to ski out of the area as well.
     
  41. pykie87

    pykie87 First Runs

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    Can you elaborate which # run or between which # runs it occurred?
     
  42. Kletterer

    Kletterer Loading Dock Manager
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    It was on Gampen. Not being judgemental but there are lots of piste markers in that area.