In this clip, an avalanche proved incredibly dangerous to resort-goers, but luckily these two skiers escaped despite not having proper safety equipment.
The incident was filmed from a chairlift at Vars La Forêt Blanche in the Hautes Alpes of France. The viral footage shows the two skiers caught in the horrific slide. The two were rescued, fortunately. Vars is aware of the video posted by big mountain ski competitor Wadeck Gorak and released a statement on the incident, which can be seen beneath the video.
We see the skiers frantically rushing away as the massive sliding of snow shifts beneath them in the footage below.
“Thank you Wadeck Gorak for this video and prevention message,” Vars wrote. “It’s so important at the start of the season to always have your safety equipment (DVA, shovel, probe) and to know the weather conditions before heading off the tracks.”
The resort opened up their statement, talking about the ideal weather conditions for skiing on their weekend. “This weekend, we made the opening at Vars La Foret Blanche in a superb atmosphere with optimal conditions going up on the new Speedmaster chairlift. It opens up to a superb area but makes an important off-piste area accessible without having to walk.”
Resort Releases Statement After Avalanche Video Goes Viral
They then directed their attention to the massive disregard of safety occurring on the weekend. Despite the two skiers in the video surviving, one Vars skier perished in a separate avalanche incident that same day.
“However, we’ve a lot of people without safety equipment and no experience tempted by this face despite the avalanche activity being very present.”
They went on to say that inexperienced skiers descended at this spot, dangerous on that type of day. They did this “despite the dissuasive speech of the trackers.”
“We witnessed this avalanche live, which fortunately ends well for these two people who have absolutely no safety equipment.”
They went on to say that the good fortune received by these skiers escaped one man who tragically lost his life in the same area around 4 p.m. that day. Vars reported without avalanche detection equipment it was “very difficult to find that person in time.”
They conclude their statement with a word of advice to all skiers, saying that it’s okay to ask for advice or assistance. “There’s no shame in that if it can save your life.”
Hautes-Alpes is located in the heart of the French Alps, after which it gets its name. Hautes-Alpes had a population of 141,220 as of 2019, making it the third least-populated French department. The average elevation is over 3,280 ft, and the highest elevation is over 13,000 ft. The only three sizable towns there are Gap, Briançon, and Embrun.