French Ski Mountaineer Killed In Avalanche On Punta Bassac In Aosta Valley Near Valgrisenche, Italy
Punta Bassac, Italy – At approximately 9:30 AM on Monday, April 18, 2016 a French ski mountaineer and a French mountain guide were caught in an avalanche on the steep slopes below Punta Bassac (3387 meters) in the Aosta Valley near Valgrisenche in the Italian Alps of northwest Italy. The female client was swept into a crevasse and was buried under 2 meters of snow. She did not survive.
The client and guide had left Refuge Bezzi (2284 meter) at 6:30 AM. They were the only ones ascending the classic ski mountaineering route to Punta Bassac when they were both caught in the avalanche at approximately 3300 meters. The woman was swept into a crevasse and buried. The guide survived and was able to alert authorities.
Mountain Rescue Valle Aosta responded via helicopter and airlifted the body of the victim back to Aosta. The Guardia di Finanza will investigate the accident further.
The avalanche is reported as being 300 meters wide. The Snow and Avalanche Report for Region Valle d’Aosta reported the avalanche danger as 2 increasing to 3. Rainfall over the weekend and increasing temperatures. decreased snow stability.
According to a translation on MeteoWeb.eu, the mountain guide, Alexis Mallon, Sallanches (Haute-Savoie), is reported as saying “It was an accident. I can not say any more.”
We will try to update this post as more information becomes available.
(Point marks location of Rifugio Bezzi)