Item: Characteristics of fatal avalanche accidents in france 1989-1999
Title: Characteristics of fatal avalanche accidents in france 1989-1999
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2000 International Snow Science Workshop, October 1-6, Big Sky, Montana
Authors: Frederic Jarry - Franyois Sivardiere' ANENA (French Association for Snow and Avalanche Study), Grenoble, France
Abstract: From the 1st of October 1989 to the 30th of September 1999, there was an average of: - 20 avalanche accidents per year; - 50 swept persons per year; - 25 deaths per year. The evolution of accidents and deaths is stable apart from the fact that figures of the five last years are more serious than figures of the five first years (89-94: 23 deaths and 18 accidents; 94-99: 27 deaths and 22 accidents). This slight increase has to be relativized with the frequenting of the mountains. No surprise: accidents took place especially during the winter (80% of them between the 15th of December and the 30th of April). 50% of them took place during holidays. Almost 25% of them too place during weekdays and 20% during weekends. Fatal avalanche accidents concerned especially backcountry activities and off piste activities. Between 1989 and 1999, 40% of the accidents concerned each activity. Though, backcountry activities killed more persons than off piste activities did (38% of the whole deaths with backcountry activity; 33% wit off piste activities). Nevertheless, the evolution of accidents and deaths of backcountry activities was stable, while the evolution of accidents and deaths of off piste activities increased.
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Keywords: avalanche, accident, evolution, distribution
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