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BREAKING NEWS: Five French Foreign Legionnaires Killed in Alps Avalanche

An avalanche in the French Alps has killed five French soldiers who were backcountry skiing at the time. Wikipedia photo. 

According to the BBC, an avalanche that occurred during a training exercise in the French Alps Tuesday has killed five French soldiers and injured six more. The slide that happened near Valfrejus, just 80 miles from the Les Deux Alps, where a Ukrainian tourist and two school children were killed in an avalanche just last week

According to lawmaker Julian Aubert, the group was comprised of both experienced soldiers and new recruits. A BBC report states that fifty soldiers were training at an altitude of 7,200 feet when the slide occurred, and all of them had avalanche beacons in their possession during the training exercise. The initial response occurred within minutes, but it was not enough to save five of the soldiers who had gone into cardiac arrest. 

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According to, avalanche conditions in the Savoie area of the French Alps have been rated at 3 out of a potential 5–basically equating to a Considerable rating here in the States–with a particular risk for slab avalanches that could step down 2 meters into the snowpack. Recent winds have added a degree of spatial variability to a snowpack that, particularly on north-facing slopes, is sporting persistent weak layers. Reports indicate this particular slide was a large slab avalanche some 100 meters wide on a northeast-facing slope.

At this time, our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims along with anyone involved in the search and rescue efforts. 

About The Author

stash member Henry Dodge

Grew up in Newport Beach, CA and I now reside in Waterville, ME. Skiing and surfing are my life!