4 skiers dead in avalanches; 3 missing in Northern Alps


Avalanches in and around Japanese ski resorts killed four people including two Argentine men over the weekend, police and media reported on Monday.

The two foreigners aged 50 and 54 were visiting the Ryuoo Ski Park in Nagano Prefecture on Sunday, police said.

They were together with a man from New Zealand and a man and a woman from Australia, a local police spokeswoman said.

"When they skied off-piste shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday, an avalanche occurred and engulfed the two Argentine men," she said.

"Their friends made an emergency call and rescuers found their bodies in the snow," she said, adding they were taken to a local hospital where they were confirmed dead.

The avalanche was 30 meters in width and 200 meters long, she said.

Over the weekend there were also two deadly avalanches in Niigata Prefecture, reports said.

A Japanese man aged 48 died Saturday after he was hit by an avalanche as he snowboarded, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

Another Japanese man, aged 35, was found dead in an off-piste area of a ski resort in Niigata, it said, adding police believe he was also hit by an avalanche.

Separately, rescuers were searching for three men in their 50s and 60s who went missing while mountaineering on skis at Hakuba in Nagano's Northern Alps. Police said the three men, aged 57, 59 and 66, had come from Nagoya on Friday for a weekend of skiing.

A helicopter searched for the trio on Monday morning but failed to find them.

© AFP/Japan Today

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That sucks! To come all the way from Argentina and out to Nagano to end up getting killed in a stupid avalanche. RIP amigos from Argentina! QDEP

5 ( +6 / -1 )


1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's terrible, but skiing off-piste is like swimming outside the flags in Australia, something you shouldn't do because it's dangerous.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

It's terrible, but skiing off-piste is like swimming outside the flags in Australia

Very true words, Lazybones - but jeez its fun. Especially when there are a million other people on piste/between the flags. Rest in Peace to the victims and ski/board safe, everyone.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"a weekend of skiing"

Don't people have anything better and safer to do?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Very sad & horrible news. As we read this,I can not begin to imagine how family and friends feel at this news. .@BurakuminDes,; But jeez its fun. As true as this may be, we must at times think about others instead of ourselves, mainly family, friends and the rescue staff. Its a mental pain on all and should be realized if you want to go off-piste for a few minutes or hours of fun when a whole life and more adventures lies in front of you. Rest in peace my brothers.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sad that they died, but they accepted the risk of leaving the trails.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Skiing off piste, if you are guided by a suitably experienced local guide or if you have sufficient knowledge about avalanches and carry the necesssary rescue equipment, is not inherently dangerous. It is misleading to say so.

I totally agree that people who are not properly equipped, not suitably experienced or do not have a guide should stay within bounds, however.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

To Serrano- My father was in japan and had the chance to meet these two Argentinian men recently before they headed to this destination. He had good conversations with both who were best friends who skied together with familes back home.Whether they had an inexperienced tour guide or they decided to do things their own way it was their passion. Before you make judgements, know the facts. It is no ones business who does what on the weekends , You should have so much more heart.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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