Avalanches are a recurring threat in Europe's mountain ranges, and have claimed dozens of lives in the past 20 years
Avalanches are a recurring threat in Europe's mountain ranges, and have claimed dozens of lives in the past 20 years:
FRANCE: Six deaths
Six French legionnaires on a training mission in the Cerces range near the Italian border died on January 18 when they were caught at an altitude of more than 2,000 meters (6,000 feet).
ITALY: Six deaths
Five Italians and an Austrian who were mountain climbing died on March 12 when a 300-metre (-yard) snowslide swept them away at an altitude of more than 3,300 metres (10,800 feet) in the Monte Nevoso region near the border with Austria.
FRANCE: 13 deaths
Four French men and two women were ski touring on January 24 in the Queyras range in eastern France when they were killed by an avalanche.
And on September 15 four Germans and three Czechs who were climbing in three teams died when an avalanche broke loose on the Dome de Neige des Écrins, a 4,015-metre (13,170-foot) peak in the French Alps. The summit is popular with tourists because it is readily accessible.
FRANCE: Nine deaths
Nine climbers from Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland were killed on July 12 as they tried to scale the north face of Mont Maudit in the Mont-Blanc range in the French Alps.
RUSSIA: 127 deaths
On September 20, a huge mass of rock and ice broke off a glacier and crushed the village of Nizhny Karmadon in the Caucasian republic of North Ossetia, leaving 127 people dead or missing. They included Sergei Bodrov junior, son of a prominent Russian director of the same name, who was filming with a crew when the disaster struck.
The glacier lies at an altitude of more than 2,500 metres (8,000 feet) between two peaks, Mount Kazbek (5,033 metres, 16,500 feet) and the Elbruz (5,633 metres, 18,480 feet). The region's president said millions of cubic metres of ice had cascaded over a distance of 33 kilometres (20 miles).
AUSTRIA: 12 deaths
On March 28, an avalanche killed 11 young ski instructors and a snow surfer on the Kitzsteinhorn, 80 kilometres (50 miles) southeast of Salzbourg.
AUSTRIA: 38 deaths
A huge avalanche buried several houses and killed 31 people at the Galtuer ski area in western Austria's Tyrol region on February 23. The next day, another slide killed seven more people in the nearby village of Valzur.
FRANCE: 12 deaths
On February 9, an avalanche swept away around 20 chalets near the village of Tour, in the Chamonix valley near Mont Blanc, killing 12 people.
FRANCE: 11 deaths
Nine teenagers, a teacher and an instructor were killed as they were snow-shoeing on January 23 at an altitude of 2,200 metres (7,200 feet) near the Orres ski area in the southern French Alps.