Avalanche accident at Peischlkopf / Stuben am Arlberg


"I was climbing up the south side of the Peischlkopf with my 3 friends in a groomed ascent track, when suddenly the dull bang of a snow board was heard. In addition, the slope vibrated slightly, so we looked up. As we did so, I saw that the slope below the summit wall was breaking away and coming towards us. The two skiers who had created the track, a guide and his female guest, were already sliding away further up the slope and deploying their airbags. Two of my friends were off the side of the snow board and so out of danger. My friend and I were still in the snow slab area and relatively hastily skied or walked out of the fall line of the board (since we still had the falls on our skis).

The guide was only buried at the legs, because he was in the edge area of the snow board. He had freed himself relatively quickly. The woman was carried about 30 to 40 m, came to rest on her stomach and was completely buried, but could be seen immediately through the airbags. Her companion had to dig her face free to allow her to breathe, as she could not move her arms and legs in the slightest.

After ruling out the possibility of an after avalanche, since almost the entire slope had come down, we went up and crossed the avalanche slope and helped with the rescue (one of us was enough). The woman was in slight shock and then went back to the Albona II mountain station with the guide.

We all call ABS® backpacks our own, but fortunately did not need them. If we had been any farther down the center of the snow board as it came off, we would have been glad we did, as the board came off about 250 to 300 m and the layer of snow was about a ¾ m thick.