A hiker was killed and his companion seriously injured early on Saturday afternoon, as an avalanche occurred in the sector of Laruns in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques.
The avalanche occurred around 1pm outside the ski area in the valley of Gabardères in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques, in the valley of Gabardères, about 1800 meters above sea level in the valley of Ossau. She took three members of a group of several hikers, told AFP the sub-prefect of Oloron-Sainte-Marie, Nathalie Gay-Sabourdy.
One of the hikers, unharmed after the snow melted, gave the alert. Twenty firefighters and high mountain police, assisted by dogs, were dispatched to the scene. They have reached the lifeless body of a hiker fifties and a man in serious condition from hypothermia, which was being hospitalized in the afternoon, we did the same source .
The victim was the companion of the injured who is an experienced hiker.
Bad weather: the wounded could not be airlifted
Given the bad weather in altitude and dense fog did not allow a helicopter to land, rescuers gave up rescue by helicopter, opting to deliver by land on a stretcher sled to the closest road. The transfer operation of the hiker “was still being” just before 5pm, according to the sub-prefect.
The risk of avalanche now “strong”
According Peloton Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne d’Oloron, “for two days, the avalanche risk on the area of the accident was level between 3 and 4” (5) or marked with high risk. “The avalanche has been triggered by the weight of hikers, or the weight of the powder, or plates” , that the investigation should seek to determine, Has said the same source.
According to a bulletin from Meteo France for the Pyrenean mountains Aspe and Ossau Saturday at 4pm, the avalanche risk has just gone from “marked” to “strong” (3 to 4) while with successive snowfall, snow cover “loses stability” .
With new expected drops in on Saturday night, “the accidental risk is strong” , further increased above 2200 meters, “where the underlayer is less solid, and where avalanches can be bigger” , puts warn Météo-France.