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Avalanche accident at Peischlkopf / Stuben am Arlberg

22.03.2013


"I was climbing with my 3 friends on the south side of the Peischlkopf in a tracked ascent lane when suddenly the muffled bang of a snow slab could be heard. The slope also vibrated slightly so that we looked up. I saw that the slope below the summit guard broke away and came towards us. The two skiers who had made the trail, a guide and his female guest, slid further up the slope and triggered the airbags. Two of my friends were laterally outside the snowboard and so out of danger. My friend and I were still in the snowboard area and rode or ran relatively hastily out of the fall line of the board (since we still had the falls on our skis).

The guide was only buried with his legs, because he was in the edge area of the slab. He had freed himself relatively fast. The woman was carried along for about 30 to 40 m, came to lie on her stomach and was completely buried, but could be seen immediately through the airbags. Her companion had to dig out her face to allow her to breathe, as she could not move her arms and legs in the slightest.

After we were able to rule out the possibility of a post-avalanche, as almost the whole slope had come down, we went up and crossed the avalanche slope and helped with the rescue (one of us was enough). The woman was in slight shock and then went back with the guide to the Albona II mountain station.

We call all ABS®-backpacks our own, but fortunately we did not need them. If we had been further in the center of the snowboard as it came off, we would have been glad about it, because the board came off about 250 to 300 m and the snow layer was about one ¾ m thick.

Hans-Jörg