Avalanche Kills Slovenian Skier In Obertauern In Salzburg, Austria (UPDATED)


Obertauern, Austria – On Friday, December 29, 2017 two Slovenian skiers were caught and buried in an avalanche in a steep gully below the Gamspitzls in the area of the Zehnerkarspitze near Obertauern in Salzburg, Austria. Both skiers were injured and flown to the hospital by helicopter. Unfortunately one of the skiers, age 21, did not survive.

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Austria Flag

The skiers, who were equipped with transceivers and airbags, were in a group of five when the avalanche occurred. Salzburg.orf.at reports that the avalanche measured 350 to 400 meters long. It buried two people – a 50-year-old and his 21-year-old son.

The other skiers in the group alerted authorities and initiated the rescue. One of the skiers was completely buried and seriously injured. The other skier was partially buried and suffered injuries. Rescuers responded to the scene via helicopter and transported the two skiers to hospitals. Ultimately, the rescuers had to be flown out of the area due to avalanche danger.

Lawis.at reports that this avalanche accident occurred on 2017-12-29 at 13:45 in Obertauern in Austria. They report a Lat/Long of 47.2393° N / 13.5294° E which is a 45 degree northwest aspect at 2300 meters. The size 3 slab avalanche caught and buried two people. One person did not survive. The avalanche danger at the time was considerable (3/5).

We will try to update this post when more information is available.

UPDATE 12/30:

  • Lawine.Salzburg.at published their report on the avalanche. They write that the 5 freeriders climbed from the Zehnerkar Cable Car toward the Gamspitzl to ski a steep northwest channel. The group all had proper equipment and were wearing airbags, but the handles were secured with velcro. The 3rd skier down the slope triggered the slide which buried the first two skiers. One was partially buried and the other was fully buried.
  • Lawine.Salzburg.at notes that the avalanche was 20-50 cm deep. It ranged from 20meters wide in the channel to 100 meters in the flow area. It ran 300 meters and was classified as a size 2 avalanche. Please visit Lawine.Salzburg.at for photos and more information about this avalanche accident.

See Also: Global Avalanche Accidents 2017/2018

Read more about the avalanche in Obertauern in Salzburg, Austria from the following sources:

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.