4 Skiers Die in Avalanches in Japan

3 hikers also missing

Jan 19, 2015
Outside Magazine
skiing avalanche ryuoo ski park japan

Two Argentine nationals died in an avalanche at Ryuoo Ski Park (pictured) when they skied off the prepared slope.    Nikita/Flickr

Four skiers died and three more have been declared missing after three separate avalanche incidents occurred over the weekend in Japan. The accidents took place in the Nagano and Niigata prefectures in the country’s central region.

An avalanche that occurred on Sunday at Ryuoo Ski Park in Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, claimed the lives of two Argentine nationals. Police say the avalanche was triggered when the skiers left the prepared slope, according to the Japan Times. Three Japanese hikers in the Northern Alps in Nagano were also reported missing after they did not return as planned on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, a 35-year-old graduate student was found buried in snow near a ski slope at the Akakura Kanko Resort Ski in Myoko, Niigata Prefecture. Evidence suggests the incident was due to a nearby avalanche. The skier was airlifted to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Japan Times.

On Saturday, two snowboarders were caught in an avalanche on Mount Awadachi, also in the Niigata prefecture. One was successfully rescued and suffered only minor frostbite, but 48-year-old Hiroshi Mizuno was confirmed dead, apparently from suffocation, the Japan Times reported.

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