Skier dies in avalanche in Myoko region of Japan

Lotte Arai ski resort Japan

A French skier has died in an avalanche at Lotte Arai ski resort in Myoko City in Niigata Prefecture in Japan yesterday. 

Three French skiers were skiing on unpatrolled terrain at Mt Ogenashi (Okenashi on resort’s English trail map) when an avalanche occurred, burying one of the skiers, 49 year old Marc Olivier Gariou. The avalanche was 30 metres wide, 300 metres long and 5 metres in depth.

They had been skiing the resort terrain from mid morning and ventured out of designated areas around 1.30pm with the avalanche occurring half an hour later, according to Kyodo News. 

Lotte Arai is a lift accessed free ride style resort with ski patrolled bowls of off piste skiing in avalanche controlled areas. The skiers were outside of this patrolled and marked area.

The Japan avalanche network filed this report with images of the avalanche. 

lotte arai ski trails map

Arai ski patrol recovered the skier who had no vital signs and was taken by helicopter rescue to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.

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