Snow and Avalanche Center 2010 Avalanche News

Should people who trigger avalanches be prosecuted?

Tuesday January 19, 2010 - PlanetSKI

It is a question being debated in the Swiss media at the moment. It follows 2 incidents where off piste skiers and snowboarders set off avalanches that then hit a marked piste.

The first was in Anzere near Crans Montana where local media report 3 people set off an avalanche last month that hit 2 other people on the piste. They survived unhurt.

The 3 were questioned by police after the incident and now face charges.

In a separate incident a group of snowboarders in Zermatt caused an avalanche that also crossed a marked run. They too have been reported to the judicial authorities and charges are being considered too.

Under Swiss Law people who leave the marked run and set off an avalanche can be charged under article 237 of the penal code.

There are numerous incidents each season and with seemingly more people skiing off piste it is a question that perhaps needs to be addressed.

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