Slain Russian skier paid no heed to avalanche warning: Tourism Deptt

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Srinagar

Department of Tourism has expressed grief over the demise of skier who died due to the avalanche at Shinmai bowl in the upper reaches of Gulmarg.

In a statement, Tourism Minister Tassaduq Mufti expressed grief over the skier’s death and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family.

The skier who has been identified as Stanislav from Russia had ventured into the backcountry area where advisories were already issued. The deceased was a part of a group of five skiers who moved to Shinmai bowl despite strict instructions by the department about the zones which are avalanche prone, said a statement.

Out of five, ski patrol team rescued other four from the avalanche. The dead body was brought down and is undergoing postmortem at the district hospital.

The Russian group boarded the Gondola at around 11:30 am today and came under an avalanche at 12 noon. The group had arrived at Delhi on 13 Feb and moved to Gulmarg on 14 February 2018.

“The skiers had also signed an indemnity bond that they would not go into the backcountry where avalanches occur on regular basis. However, the group still ventured into the area resulting in the tragic death of the skier,” said the statement.

“To make the skiers aware about the avalanche-prone areas, the department is organising Awareness Talk every Tuesday at 7 pm in which snow safety officer of the department Brian Newman provides them every information about the risks involved in certain areas. The awareness program receives good participation of the skiers especially foreigners. In order to propagate avalanche awareness, the department also puts Avalanche Talk live on its Facebook. Besides, the department has also erected sign boards at different places at upper reaches of Gulmarg informing the skiers about the avalanche areas.”

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