Two Swedish skiers found dead after avalanche in Italy

The body of a second woman was found on Monday by rescuers a day after an avalanche hit the Italian ski resort of Courmayeur, news agencies reported.

The search is underway for a missing skier hit by an avalanche in Courmayeur.
Two women were reportedly killed in an avalanche in Courmayeur. Photo by Marco Bertorello / AFP.

Search-and-rescue operations had been complicated by poor weather conditions on Sunday, after rescuers found the first victim of the avalanche, another woman from the same group.

News reports identified the two victims as 25-year-old Swedes who had been skiing off-piste in a deep gully in the Val Veny with two other friends, who survived.

The pair were part of a group of four skiing off-piste in a deep gully in the Val Veny when the avalanche occurred around lunchtime.

Gianluca Marra, head of the Valle d’Aosta Alpine Rescue Courmayeur station, told news outlets that rain and temperature changes were decisive factors in triggering the avalanche.

While skiing in the gully where avalanche occurred isn’t forbidden, he said, it’s not recommended, as “it’s very steep and there are objective dangers.”

In February 2019, another group of four skiers was hit by an avalanche on the same slope and killed, according to Skytg24.

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Bodies of three Italian skiers found after avalanche

Rescuers on Friday recovered the bodies of three Italian skiers killed in an avalanche on the French-Italian border, while a French off-piste skier died after a fall, authorities said.

Bodies of three Italian skiers found after avalanche

It has been a deadly week in the Alps on the border between France and Italy, with six people killed on Sunday after an avalanche hit near Mont Blanc.

Early on Friday, rescuers found the bodies of three Italian skiers who were buried by an avalanche the day before on the Pointe de la Golette, an alpine peak on the border between the Aosta Valley in Italy and France’s Savoy.

The bodies were transported to the city of Aosta for formal identification, a spokesman for the Valdostano Alpine Rescue, Tiziano Trevisan, told AFP.

Their guide, an experienced off-piste skier, freed himself after the avalanche hit and raised the alarm. He was in hospital but his condition was not serious, Trevisan said.

Helicopters and ground rescue teams were unable to reach the site of the avalanche on Thursday due to poor weather conditions.

The Pointe de la Golette, located east of France’s popular Val D’Isere ski area, reaches an altitude of 3,100 metres.

Separately on Friday, in the vicinity of the Italian resort Courmayeur, rescuers found the body of a French skier who appeared to have fallen from a rocky cliff.

The details of the accident were being examined, Trevisan said.

On Sunday, an avalanche struck the Armancette glacier near Mont Blanc on the French side of the Alps, killing six people, including two mountain guides.

The avalanche, which occurred without warning, covered a huge area of 1,600 metres (nearly one mile) by 500 metres.