Pyrenees: three more simultaneous accidents at the Gourette ski resort

By Etienne Czernecka

Three new mountain rescues of varying severity took place, one after the other, at the Gourette station, in Béarn, Sunday January 23, 2022. A young man unscrewed for 300 meters

Lhe black weekend continues in the Béarnaise ski resorts. After having intervened four times in Artouste and Gourette, Saturday January 22, 2022, to provide assistance to the injured, mountain rescue experienced a new peak of activity on Sunday. In the morning, in Gourette, three serious accidents followed one another.

“It started around 10:30 a.m. with a 23-year-old man who fell alone on skis at the top of the Gourette resort, on a track,” said the Oloron High Mountain Gendarmerie Platoon (PGHM). The young man suffered “a lot” from the femur and his condition, considered serious, required the intervention of the Dragon 64 helicopter, which transported him to the Pau hospital center.

Under the eyes of the rescuers who were in the process of medicalizing the unfortunate, a 12-year-old boy lost control of his skis and ended his race in blocks of hard snow. He suffered from the coccyx and the hip, with a suspicion of crack, even of fracture. Supported by the doctor at the Gourette station, he too was transported to Pau hospital by a firefighter vehicle.

“There were accidents everywhere”

In another sector of the resort, under the Anglas chairlift, in an off-piste area, five young people had gone to sit in the sun for a picnic. “They were between surfers. Suddenly, one of the boards started to slip and slide down the slope, so one of them jumped on it to retrieve it. But as the slope at this place was a real glass, he slid with the surf and could not stop, ”says the PGHM of Oloron.

The young man, aged 16, jumped a rock bar of about ten meters before descending over more than 300 meters in total. Suffering from a facial trauma and another to the femur, he was recovered by Dragon 64 which had just completed a rotation at the Pau hospital, to return there with the teenager on board.

“It’s the general climate, there have been accidents everywhere in the mountains”, alert the gendarmes, who recall that the off-piste conditions are extremely unfavorable, with very slippery slopes favored by very hard snow.

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