Tyrol, Austria – On Wednesday, February 8, 2017 a 27-year-old snowboarder from Finland was killed in an avalanche on the Mittagskogel in the Southern Otztal Alps in North Tyrol, Austria.
The victim was part of a group of 4 that had ascended from the Pitztal Glacier to the Mittagskogel at 3159 meters. Upon their descent they triggered the avalanche. One of the snowboarders was caught and dragged approximately 300 to 400 meters over steep and rocky terrain. The snowboarder sustained serious injuries and did not survive. The other three members of the group were uninjured.
Lawine.Tirol.gov.at rated the avalanche danger R8 Südl. Ötztaler & Stubai Alps as 3 out of 5 above 2400 meters and 2 out of 5 below 2400 meters on 8 February 2017.
UPDATE 2/9: Lawis.at reports that the avalanche occurred on a 40 degree slope at 3015 meters on a NW aspect. The lat/ long was 46.9314° N 10.8667° E. The size 3 slab avalanche was 5 meters wide, 900 meters long, and 40 cm deep. The avalanche danger at the time was 3 out of 5 (considerable).
UPDATED 2/11: LawinenWarnDienst.Blogspot.co.at visited the site of the avalanche and published a detailed avalanche accident report here. They note that the avalanche occurred at about 3050 meters on a NW aspect over steep, rocky, exposed terrain. The avalanche broke a few meters wide and caught the lower snowboarder. The slide was 10 to 40cm deep at the upper section and 80 cm deep further down. It ran 900 meters. See photos of the slide at LawinenWarnDienst.Blogspot.co.at.
We will try to update this post when more information is available.
Read more about the avalanche on the Mittagskogel in Tyrol, Austria 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.