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British man killed in avalanche while skiing in Hokkaido

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He had apparently been living in Hong Kong.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don’t the slopes in Japan have periodic safety checks to lessen the chances of avalanches?

It seems too coincidental for such an occurrence.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Realy bad moment for backcountry skiing... conditions are realy spécial with high temp. And a lot of wind = so dangerous on any area !

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is unlikely that this is someone else's fault. It is simply the risk that comes with being in or below avalanche terrain. Even if another group started the avalanche above them, that is a known risk that has happened many times before. You can do what you can to eliminate risk, often by choosing a less exciting line, but the only way to eliminate it is to stay out of and not below avalanche terrain.

RIP

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Was this the guy who was skiing in the restricted area?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, for anyone unfamiliar with this part of Hokkaido, Nakatombetsu is not far from Wakkanai. Literally almost up at the top of Hokkaido. And Pinneshiri is not a developed mountain / ski area. There is an onsen there, but that is about it.

Which means these individuals were skiing in area with absolutely no facilities, no patrols, no nothing. Not sure what arrangements they made to get to this remote location but even for a powder hound living in Japan, this is pretty extreme, if I may use that word.

So, given the recent weather / snow conditions, it is no surprise that an avalanche happened and that there were likely no local resources to advise on avalanche conditions.

For what its worth.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not sure what arrangements they made to get to this remote location but even for a powder hound living in Japan, this is pretty extreme, if I may use that word.

It is a popular hiking destination in summer and back country skiing in winter. I have not done neither, but my research previously says you could drive to the trail head which is off the Pinneshiri Michi-no-Eki and leave your car there.

In summer it only takes an hour or so to summit. Needless to say this is not a patrolled ski area and back country skills and equipments required. I always carry my avalung regardless of how risky the situation is. Never needed to use it yet, fingers crossed.

For those who skis pistes only. The equipments required for back country skiing IF you are cautious is substantial. Spade/shovel, probe, beacon (and know how to use it), ice axe and harness in steep country, crampons, then you have your food and skis too. Visiting tourists often take the risk and not carry safety equipments, or too broke to hire. I've come accross skiers without a shovel even (the most basic of equipment to dig your partner out).

My Japanese friends organise these kinds of trips months in advance, dropping (hiding) food off in the fall so that we don't have to carry as much in winter. It's really not an activity suited to one week holiday unless going on a guided tour.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My Japanese friends organise these kinds of trips months in advance, dropping (hiding) food off in the fall so that we don't have to carry as much in winter. It's really not an activity suited to one week holiday unless going on a guided tour.

Spot on.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yeah, what is not said about both cases is that they were probably skiing off the officially maintained courses.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As Sh1mon said.

Back country / Cross country skiing is popular all over the ski world.

These activities more often than not take place in wilderness snow country and have no connection to ski resorts.

It's a little like cross country running compared to organised events like marathons & fun runs. One is totally "free", one is totally regulated.

Not knowing the details of this articles case, but I guess it's not about ducking ropes and venturing into banned areas - maybe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There was also a Japanese snowboarder (from Nagoya I think it was) who died in a restricted area around the same time as the French and British guys. Read the article on the fly on a very busy day and have forgotten where it happened, maybe Nagano?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What was the actual cause of death ? Broken neck, Suffocation, etc ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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