Tragedy in Chamonix | Two British Skiers Fall to Death in Grands Montets Ski Area
An officer said "for sure these men were good skiers but the conditions are not good..."
Two British skiers have died in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc after falling “several hundred metres" while riding on a popular off-piste slope in the Grands Montets ski area.
The two men are reported to be in their 20s and from Cambridge, England. They were on a ski holiday in Chamonix with a tour operator and are understood to have slipped and fell to their deaths.
A third British skier raised the alarm on Sunday morning, with rescuers called at 11.40am.
The skiers were on Le Couloir Du Chapeau, a steep section of the huge Grands Montets ski area. The weather is reported as being clear and sunny in the area at the time.
The Telegraph write that “according to police, there was evidence that other skiers had skied the slope in previous days", suggesting that the skiers were probably following some other tracks down the mountain when they slipped.
In fact though, officers had carried out a rescue of other skiers in exactly the same area on Saturday, preventing those skiers from injury on the slope.
A spokesman for Le Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne said: "The deceased were skiing off-piste but the route is very well-known and is popular with skiers.
“Three British men were skiing Le Couloir Du Chapeau. It is a steep off-piste area. The snow at the moment is very hard, it is not powder skiing. The conditions in the couloir are not good.
"For sure these men were good skiers but the conditions are not good"
“The two men fell one after the other. They fell independently but within a couple of minutes of each other.
“They fell several hundred metres. For sure these men were good skiers but the conditions are not good. An investigation has been opened into the accident."
The two men’s bodies were retrieved by a helicopter after they “died instantly" following their fall from the 40-degree slope.
There is a lot of off-piste riding access right off the lifts in Grands Montets, and indeed across Chamonix.
Despite vast snowfall in the area at the start of the winter, there hasn’t been snowfall for a few days now, so many slopes are difficult to ride and even what looks like untouched powder may be topped with a crust of ice.