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Deadly Avalanche in France Kills Skiers

Three skiers have died in an avalanche near Briancon, France in the Ecrins Mountians. Other skiers are held up at the Refuge des Ecrins.

The view from the Ecrins Hut.  Photo Source
The view from the Refuge des Ecrins. Photo Source

Early reports suggest that three Austrian skiers have died in an avalanche in the French Alps. The slide occurred on Wednesday in the Ecrins Mountains near the town of Briancon. The slide occured at around 3,200 metres near the col Emile Pic above the Refuge des Ecrins in the Pelvoux area.

Windspeeds were reported at around 80 km/h and the slab avalanche was measured 80 wide by 250 metres long.

It occurred after a month of relatively stable conditions. The group of 10 skiers were accompanied by a mountain guide.

At least 20 people have died in the French Alps this year from avalanches as the most deadly was at the end of January when six experienced skiers, four men and two women aged between 58 and 73 , were killed. It was only three days after three people were killed in the Queyras Mountains. Despite the seemingly high number of avalanche deaths, it is below the average of 30 every winter in the Alps.

We will continue to update the story as more information is available.