Two died after avalanche

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Two men believed to be part of a group of off-piste skiers died after the group itself apparently set off an avalanche at a ski resort in western Norway.

The avalanche at Eikedalen was probably triggered by the skiers from below who ventured off the prepared slopes, Kjetil Brattelien, an avalanche expert at Norges Geotekniske Institutt (NGI), told newspaper Aftenposten.

The skiers, three men in their 30s from Hordaland, had skied off-piste into an area where they reportedly were fashioning a ski jump. The two victims were active members of skating circles in Bergen.

The three men were caught in the deadly masses of snow that thundered down the steep slopes at Eikedalen Friday afternoon. Two died and one was injured.

NGI is routinely called in to investigate snow- and rockslides that involve fatalities. Brattelien said the slide at Eikedalen was “classic” for this winter, which was characterized by extreme cold earlier in the season that created “special” conditions making slides more likely. Snow in the area has been built up of a loose layer between two hard layers of snow. There also has been a lot of wind that moves the snowmass, which was vulnerable to movement from below as well.

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