french alps travel safety advice latest news

French Alps: Is it safe to travel after the death of a British skiier?

A British skier has recently died in the French Alps, after falling from a cliff. The news comes only days after after a tragic incident involving the death of a 13-year old boy, on Saturday 24 February.

The two unrelated off-piste skiing incidents took place less than one week apart from each other.

Yesterday, authorities confirmed that a British man had died in the French Alps. According to The Guardian, a spokesman at the mountain rescue unit in Grenoble reported that three skiers in the Alpe d’Huez resort had run into trouble whilst venturing off-piste.

The trio ran into difficulties after going the wrong way and took off their skis in an attempt to climb upwards.

The French Alps: Latest safety advice and travel update after the death of a British skier

However, the “steep and icy” conditions caused two out of three of the skiers to fall from what has been described as a “cliff”.

One skier, a British man whose age has not been confirmed, was found dead by the mountain rescue operation. The second skier who also fell was injured but miraculously survived. The third skier was unharmed.

The Foreign Office issued a statement confirming a Briton had died. It said: “Following the death of a British National in the French Alps, we are providing consular support to the family. We remain in close contact with local authorities. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”

This tragedy happened only days after a separate incident in which a 13-year-old French boy was confirmed dead, after falling from a cliff close to the Avoriaz ski resort in the French Alps.

french alps travel safety advice latest news

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The teenage boy and his 10-year old brother both fell from a 150-metre cliff near to the resort, which is close to the Swiss border and 160-miles from Alpe d’Huez. The younger brother was taken to hospital to be treated, where his condition was confirmed as not life-threatening.

Whilst skiing on a family holiday, the siblings went down a mountain and strayed off-piste on their own.

According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) travel advice, it is important to be aware of weather forecasts and conditions before heading off onto the piste.

The advice states: “Check weather forecasts and conditions and make sure you’re properly equipped.

french alps travel safety advice latest news

French Alps: The FCO advises not to undertake any activity alone in the Alps

“Don’t undertake any activity alone, and consider hiring a guide for expert advice. Always leave copies of your itinerary with someone.”

As well as this you should make sure you have appropriate travel insurance to cover the activities you are doing, this includes sports classed as particularly dangerous such as off-piste skiing and snowboarding.

The FCO said: “For travel to mountainous areas, make sure your insurance covers you for extra medical costs, repatriation to your country of residence… mountain rescue services and helicopter costs”.

In extreme weather conditions, it is important to “observe all warnings regarding avalanches and where appropriate consider carrying avalanche search equipment.”

The latest avalanche risk areas can be checked on the Meteo Alarm website so you are never heading out on the slopes without being prepared. As well as this, “you should carry water, food, warm clothing and medicines”.

Marion Telsnig, a ski expert from Crystal Ski Holidays, spoke to about how to stay safe whilst off-piste skiing. She said: “Crystal Ski Holidays… [recommends] all customers adhere to the FIS Skier’s Code of Conduct (International Ski Federation) at all times. These rules outline the guide to safe behaviour on the mountains and slopes.

“Off-piste skiing is increasingly poplar and we urge customers to book a professional guide to help minimise the risks and always carry the required specialist equipment”.

Source of Travel News