Valfréjus, France – On Tuesday, March 7, 2017 three snowboarders from the Netherlands were caught in an avalanche in Couloir du Seuil near Valfréjus in the commune of Modane in the Savoie department of France. According to BASE Avalanche, 3 were caught, 3 were buried, and all 3 were killed.
The incident is estimated to have occurred around 17:00 in an off piste area. One of the snowboarders sent a text to another friend that they were lost around 16:00. When the trio did not show up, that friend reported them missing at 19:30. Search operations got started around nightfall.
The first snowboarder was found on the surface of the slide path on Tuesday evening. The 2nd snowboarder was found 24 hours later and was buried approximately 1 meter deep. The 3rd snowboarder is still missing. Rescuers consisted of 50 military and civilian rescuers and 3 search dogs. The search will continue on Thursday. The 3rd body was located on March 19.
The victims were not wearing avalanche transceivers. The avalanche danger was rated 4/5.
The victims were ages 21, 22, and 25.
Get more details in this BASE Avalanche Facebook post:
We will try to update this post when more information is available.
UPDATE 3/10: LeFigaro.fr reports that rescuers can still not find the 3rd snowboarder. Search teams consisted of 59 rescuers and 3 dog teams. They did find the snowboarders helmet in the same area as the other two victims. Rescuers report that the avalanche was 100 meters wide, 2 meters deep, and 500 to 800 meters long. Snow accumulations are up to 6 meters deep and probes do not go that deep.
UPDATE 3/19: LeParisien.fr reports that the body of the 3rd snowboarder was found on March 19.
Read more about the avalanche Valfréjus, France from the following sources:
All information in this post was found using Google Translate. There may be errors in this information. Please use the sources listed above to verify all facts.