It is much higher than previous years and is nearly double the average over the past 50 years. Covid-19 restrictions, the growth in ski touring and unstable snow are to blame.

With ski lifts closed in France there was comparatively little precautionary measures taken to trigger avalanches and make slopes/ski areas safe.

Many people also took to ski touring in the off piste - some without the necessary skills, training and safety equipment.

In addition there was a highly unstable snow pack, particularly in January.

See here for the full statistics from the National Association for Snow and Avalanche Research (ANENA).

It was a similar picture in Switzerland as we reported earlier and in some detail on PlanetSKI:

Avalanche deaths in Switzerland up 50% this winter

We reported on the increase in accidents, and some miraculous rescues, across last winter:

- Snowboard Champion Dies In Avalanche

- Avalanche Death Toll Continues To Climb

- Why Are There Currently So Many Fatal Avalanches In The Alps?

- Miraculous Avalanche Rescues In The Alps