A skier met his untimely death on the slopes of Switzerland earlier in the afternoon on Tuesday. The 45-year old native of Holland was skiing with a friend in the Valais Canton at around 12:30pm when they were caught in an avalanche at an altitude of approximately 2,900m. The other skier was able to dig himself out and alert the authorities. A rescue crew set off via helicopter shortly after receiving the call, but arrived too late to save the victim who had already met his demise under the snow.
Initial reports indicate the two skiers had left the ski area of St Luc to climb a nearby peak for some backcountry skiing. They had been skiing down near the resort of Anniviers when the slide hit them. There had been a significant amount of snowfall throughout the weekend, with storms just beginning to clear starting on Tuesday. Despite the allure of such a blue bird day, the combination of new snow resting on an established snowpack had an extremely high probability for instability.
The names of the skiers involved have not yet been released. At this time, authorities are undertaking the depressing task of alerting the victim’s family members. More to come on this story as additional details emerge.