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Keeping slopes safe is risky work

What does it take to keep ski areas safe?

This content was published on January 16, 2019 - 17:11

Following the death on Monday of a snow patroller caught in an avalanche, Swiss Public Television, RTS, takes a closer look at the dangerous work.

The 24-year-old Swiss victim and a colleague were working in ​​Crosets in the Porte du Soleil ski area in canton Valais when an avalanche was triggered at 1,970 meters. One of the patrollers managed to escape from the snow mass on his own, and dug out his colleague, buried under 1m 40cm of snow, but the victim was dead by the time a helicopter arrived to take him to hospital.

Snowfall is currently at record levels in the Swiss Alps, making off-piste skiing particularly dangerous. A 20-year-old Swedish skier lost his life in an avalanche on Tuesday. It's the patrollers' job to try to limit the danger for the public, but they put themselves in the way of great danger by doing so. A television crew found out more about the profession from patrollers working in the resort of Ovronnaz in Valais.


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