Even after two avalanches this week that killed one skier and injured four more, ski tourists were still climbing up the steep slopes of the Lyngen Alps in Northern Norway. Several from Switzerland decided to defy the risk of more avalanches in order to experience a potentially spectacular skiing experience.
“It’s very sad,” Pierre-Martin Moulin, who traveled to Lyngen with a group of friends, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). The avalanches show, he added, “that you must be careful regardless where you go, and make the right decision regarding which route you choose.”
Skiers are believed to have set off both avalanches, the second of which killed one person in a group of five on Wednesday evening. One person managed to dig out of the masses of snow while three others were injured but found by search and rescue crews. They were flown to the University Hospital of Northern Norway in Tromsø. In the first avalanche earlier that afternoon, two people were caught and one had to be dug out by emergency crews. They were also flown to hospital.
Both hospital staff and police were stressing the importance of avalanche warnings that had been posted. Weather conditions were also poor, and rescue helicopters had trouble at the scenes of the avalanches. Local officias set up crisis teams and urged the skiers, many of them foreign tourists, to heed the warnings to prevent accidents that put pressure on local emergency services.