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'Massive' Avalanche Kills 5 Skiers in Austrian Alps

Two others were injured

(Newser) - Police in Austria say five people were killed Saturday when a "massive" avalanche in the Austrian Alps struck skiers from the Czech Republic taking part in a freeriding camp, the AP reports. Two other skiers were injured and 10 were rescued unharmed, Tirol police spokesperson Helmut Schuetz said. He... More »

22-Year-Old Vies to Be First Woman to Scale 'Murder Wall'

Climber Sasha DiGiulian trying to reach peak of dangerous Swiss mountain

(Newser) - Between semesters at Columbia University, Sasha DiGiulian is summering at the Mordwand in the Swiss Alps, which sounds like a lovely getaway until you find out "Mordwand" is German for "murder wall." Per CBS News , the 22-year-old world-class climber is trying to become the first woman to... More »

Alps Crash Site 'Freakishly Close' to 1953 Disaster

Air France plane went down less than a mile away

(Newser) - As investigators head to the remote site in the French Alps where Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed yesterday, aviation experts are remembering an air disaster that happened in what the International Business Times calls a "freakishly close" location near the village of Barcelonnette. On Sept. 1, 1953, an Air France... More »

GPS Fail Takes Tourists on 750-Mile Detour

Bus driver went to La Plagne in southern France, not La Plagne in the Alps

(Newser) - A group of 50 Belgian tourists headed to the Alps for a ski holiday were slightly confused when they woke up from their overnight bus ride and found themselves surrounded by … vineyards in the south of France. The snow hadn't melted at La Plagne ski resort, their true... More »

Teen Missing in Alps Found Waist-Deep in Snow

American skier was missing for more than 48 hours

(Newser) - Eleven skiers have died in the Swiss Alps over the last few days, and police say it's a miracle that 19-year-old American Mark Doose wasn't No. 12. Doose disappeared while skiing near the Diablerets resort on Sunday and survived more than 48 hours until rescuers found him on... More »

Snow, Ice Hit French Alps, Strand 15K on Roads

At least 1 driver dead in wintry mess

(Newser) - A white Christmas may have proven elusive Stateside, but a burst of snow and ice in the French Alps have stranded some 15,000 vehicles, reports the BBC , prompting Paris to issue its second-highest weather alert and urge drivers to "exercise the utmost caution." One driver died after... More »

7 Places You've Got to See Before They're Gone

Climate change threatens these natural wonders

(Newser) - Thanks to climate change, some of the planet's greatest natural wonders are in danger, Time notes. Megan Gibson lists 10 that you shouldn't miss before they disappear:
  1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia: It could be gone within a century as ocean temperatures climb and the reef suffers from pollution.
... More »

Is This the World's Scariest Tourist Attraction?

If you're afraid of heights, then yeah, probably

(Newser) - If you have a fear of heights, then "Step Into the Void" is essentially your nightmare come to life. The tourist attraction, which opened yesterday, is essentially a glass cube suspended at the top of the Aiguille du Midi, a 12,605-foot tall peak in the French Alps. What'... More »

Lucky Goats Escape Avalanche

As onlookers cheer

(Newser) - Things were not looking good for 10 mountain goats in the French Alps: As concerned onlookers watched (and videotaped), it appeared the Chamois goats would be overtaken by an avalanche. Six of the animals outran the oncoming snow, but four of them appeared to be overcome by it, the Telegraph... More »

Industrial Revolution Soot Melted Alps' Glaciers

Scientists say it covered the mountains and heated them up

(Newser) - This much isn't in dispute: The glaciers of the European Alps retreated by an average of 0.6 miles between 1860 and 1930. But why, especially when the temperature of the continent itself actually cooled in the same period? Now a team of scientists thinks it has the answer,... More »

The World's 10 Deadliest Peaks

Eiger tops the list, with the appropriate nickname "murder wall"

(Newser) - Would you be willing to climb a mountain charmingly nicknamed "murder wall"? If the moniker doesn't give you pause, its ranking as the most dangerous mountain in the world might do it. But hey, there are still nine other, slightly-less-dangerous peaks to tackle, in ranges from Pakistan... More »

Victim's Brother Busted in Alps Massacre

Zaid al-Hilli brought in for questioning

(Newser) - British police have arrested a suspect in the killing of four people in the French Alps last year—and it's reportedly the brother of one of the slain men. Zaid al-Hilli, 54, was arrested near London, according to numerous reports . "We felt there were enough reasons to take... More »

Diplomatic Mailbag Found in Alps ... 46 Years Later

Bag was amid debris from 1966 Air India crash

(Newser) - A bag of Indian diplomatic mail bound for the US has been found 46 years after the plane transporting it crashed in the Alps, killing all 117 people on board. A mountain rescue worker found the bag and other debris from the doomed Air India plane after tourists reported seeing... More »

Missing Climbers Alive After Avalanche

2 are rescued in snow; death toll stands at 9

(Newser) - Two people caught in today's avalanche in the French Alps have been found alive in the snow, CNN reports, and four others who had been deemed missing have been located, and are unscathed. Rescuers had broken off the search for the four because of weather conditions, but they eventually... More »

9 Killed in Mont Blanc Avalanche

Some climbers still missing in French Alps

(Newser) - An avalanche in the French Alps killed nine climbers and left another four or five missing this morning, the Telegraph reports. Two groups comprised of 28 climbers, many of them highly experienced, were trying to climb Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe. The avalanche hit as they were ascending... More »

Avalanche Wipes Out French Ski Lift

Snow pours over chairs, cables, knocks down pylons

(Newser) - Skiers thought they were safe in their chair-lift perches as they watched a powerful avalanche rumble through a French ski resort near Grenoble—until snow began to bury the tips of their skis. No injuries were reported, but several skiers on higher ground were left dangling from lifts—and had... More »

Dutch Prince Caught in Avalanche May Not Wake Up

Doctors say Johan Friso was in cardiac arrest for 50 minutes

(Newser) - Sad news for the Netherlands: Dutch Prince Johan Friso, who got snowed under by an avalanche while skiing in the Austrian Alps last Friday, may never wake from his coma. At a press conference today, his doctor explained that Queen Beatrix's middle son suffered severe brain damage after being... More »

Dutch Prince Survives Ski Avalanche

Johan Friso 'not out of danger,' says government

(Newser) - Dutch Prince Johan Friso got snowed under by an avalanche while skiing and was seriously injured today. The 43-year-old son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was buried for 15 minutes before being rescued, reports the BBC . An avalanche beeper likely saved his life. The prince was vacationing in the... More »

French Alpine Glaciers Vanishing

Glaciers down by a quarter over 40 years

(Newser) - France's glaciers have lost more than a quarter of their area in the last 40 years, and the rate of retreat appears to be accelerating, researchers warn. The 600 or so glaciers in the French Alps covered some 145 square miles in the early '70s but that was... More »

Swiss Fear Vast Glacier Chunk Might Fall

There's a massive crack in the ice

(Newser) - Swiss authorities have blocked off hiking trails near the Giesen glacier in the Bernese Alps and sent a crisis team to monitor it, for fear that it’s about to shed a slab of ice the size of 12 football fields. A huge crevasse has been discovered in the glacier,... More »

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