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Avalanche accident in Tignes

28.02.2015


"It doesn't matter how much or little you ski, if you're not careful out there, you can easily get caught, which unfortunately happened to me on Saturday, February 28. Even with the snow conditions this season there are still some good Freeride opportunities, after 15 cm the day before I went to the skiers right of the Tufs de la Toviere, or Mickey's ears for those who ski in Tignes.

We skied a smaller line further skiers right first and the snow seemed stable, the snowfall had barely covered the tracks from before. Going up for a second time we thought we would look at the couloir in the video, it was untouched. It gets narrow and steep quickly, meaning it is a blind rollover as you drop in. I was so focused on getting my speed right and lining up for the narrow section, I failed to see what was happening around me, and as obvious as it looks in the video, I didn't see it fracture, I had tunnel vision, on my last turn I caught some rocks and it set me off balance, that was it, next thing I get taken down, tumbling down I scrape over some rocks, activate my ABS, do whatever I can to try stop my mouth filling with snow, I came to a rest at the bottom nearly 300m from where I got taken out.

My ABS kept me on the top of the slide as soon as it was inflated, which certainly stopped me scraping over the rocks and sustaining a more serious injury.

It doesn't matter how comfortable you feel in the snow, you must never forget - I was too focused on other aspects, namely the problem-free skiing on the slope. It turned out that I couldn't even do that, and I got away with a few scratches and bruises, but it could have been much worse. You never realise how quickly things can go wrong until you get into that situation."

Benjamin Styles, UK