Yesterday, an avalanche, which started above a piste at the Swiss resort of Crans Montana, spilled out on to it.
According to local police, the avalanche left a trail of 840 metres. By the evening one person, a 34 year old French ski patroller who had been helping a skier, had been confirmed dead and another three confirmed to have suffered minor injuries. The man, who was seriously injured, died in hospital.
What makes this avalanche unusual is that it happened on a piste that was open.
Pierre Huguenin, a local avalanche expert, described the avalanche as exceptional and told RTS that exceptional events can never be excluded, while reminding skiers to follow all safety advice and understand that avalanche risk increases as the day progresses due to rising temperatures.
According to a spokesperson from the cantonal police the search has now finished. 244 people and 8 helicopters were involved in the overnight search. In addition, local police went through carparks to identify abandoned vehicles to identify any missing people.
Investigations are now underway to understand what triggered the avalanche.