“I think this avalanche is the most deadly of the season,” Contamines-Montjoie commune Mayor Francois Barbier told the AFP news agency. Among the victims were a couple in their 20s, a 39-year-old woman and a man in his early 40s who was probably her partner.
The avalanche also left one person injured person injured. The dead guides, both of them locals, were highly experienced. Mountain rescue teams worked with rescue dogs on Sunday and Monday to reach the victims.
Before the incident, a nearby ski resort called Les Contamines-Montjoie posted a video on social media showing a wall of snow moving down from the Dômes de Miage mountain, of which the Armancette glacier is a part. However, it is still unclear if the video shows the avalanche in which the people died.
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Contamines-Montjoie commune official Jean-Luc Mattel explained that the avalanche at the Armancette glacier occurred after a slab of snow detached from the top of the Dômes de Miage mountain. Experts described skiing conditions as good before the accident happened.
The avalanche's victims might have gone to unmarked or unpatrolled areas. "Today, we are mourning. There is great sadness among all of us mountaineers. Those who died are people we knew, and all our thoughts go out to their families," Mattel said.
Other officials told the AFP agency that experts do not rule out a further avalanche. In the Armancette glacier, two brothers died in an avalanche in 2014. They were both experienced mountaineers and had the proper equipment.
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