Friday, February 6, 2015

Freeride World Tour Avalanche

By now many of you are aware that there was a serious avalanche in Kappl, Austria during a Freeride World Tour event on Tuesday. French free skier Julien Lopez set off an avalanche after taking a fall and losing a ski. He was climbing back up the deep snow when the slope released.

Lopez reacted by pulling his ABS airbag system and stayed on top of the debris as the slide ran down the mountain. The skier suffered a few minor bumps and bruises to his leg and ribs.

Here's the thing though. This mountain had been heavily controlled. The slope had been repeatedly bombed and there were guides on site checking the snowpack. But even with all of that, a layer of instability was missed and it resulted in an avalanche.

The following video shows the avalanche, what the team did to control the slope and the aftermath. The video is well worth watching...

--Jason D. Martin

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