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Avalanche deaths in Nagano

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There is an article about three confirmed climber deaths in Nagano today:


One man's body was discovered near an avalanche from April 27th on Mount. Shirouma. Another person thought to have been caught in the same avalanche is yet to be found.

The avalanche was on the Saturday before last. There was a fair bit of fresh snow that weekend but it is not clear if the climbers triggered the avi or if it was natural. After doing a bit of reading online, it seems like a woman and three others in a group of six climbers were in the same avalanche. The woman did not survive (her body was found the following day) but the three others were rescued after the police were called on the same day. It is not clear whether the police or the climbers performed the successful rescues.

The two people mentioned in the article above (one dead, one presumed missing) seem to have been in a different climbing group.

Does anybody know anything else about this? Were they with guides? Were the climbers wearing beacons/shovels/probes? I presume the woman found the next day and the man found recently were not as they would have been found much sooner otherwise.

It is pretty uncommon for climbers to wear avalanche beacons compared with BC skiers/boarders. Why is that? If you are travelling in avi terrain, you should carry the necessary equipment and, more importantly, have avi awareness. It sounds like one group could have triggered the avi which then caught other people travelling close by. People who aren't travelling safely can put others who are nearby at risk.

The spring season is generally safer as far as avalanches are concerned but they still happen, especially after fresh snow like we have been getting for the last few weekends. The increased spring traffic in the BC can also cause more accidents with more casualties.

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