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Alpinet articles archive - Avalanche sweeps to climbers to their deaths in Italian Alps

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Avalanche sweeps to climbers to their deaths in Italian Alps
Avalanche sweeps to climbers to their deaths in Italian Alps

Avalanche sweeps to climbers to their deaths in Italian Alps

 

Search teams found the bodies of the 40-year climbing instructor and his 34-year-old companion on Sunday buried under piles of snow and ice that formed overnight in the Val Daone. The pair had been missing since Saturday.
       The icy walls of these mountains in northern Italy are famous for international ice climbing competitions. The weather this year has been especially treacherous, with heavy rain alternating with snow and snap freezes.
       On Saturday, two Italian climbers were injured in a snowfall while ice climbing in the nearby Val di Rabbi.
       In eastern Switzerland, rescue teams were searching for the occupants of at least two cars believed to have been buried Sunday when an avalanche crashed down on a high Alpine road.
       The avalanche, which was around 550 yards wide, covered the road on the southern side of the Julier Pass, Graubuenden state police said. A witness reported seeing at least two vehicles buried by the snow.
       The search was hindered by further small avalanches, heavy snowfall and the arrival of darkness, said police spokesman Alois Hafner. The weather did not allow the use of helicopters.
       The Swiss meteorological service said the Engadine region has seen 16 to 27 inches of new snow this weekend. Experts are warning of a continuing danger of avalanches in high areas and police have temporarily closed four other mountain passes.
       (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Author: preluat MSNBC
Uploaded by: Vrabie Eduard
Views: 7852, Last update: Mon, Jan 8, 2001



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