Death in the mountains

Talking about the accident is not something he does readily as we look at pictures of his last steps into the high alpine world of snow, ice and crevasses. He pulls up a photo of Mount Tasman on his laptop taken from a helicopter shortly after the accident. Footprints of the three guides are clearly visible in the snow. They end at the crown wall of the avalanche, a slash across the slope like an open wound. It marks the point where a slab of hard snow collapsed, unleashing debris down the 45 degree slope. Clearly visible too are the skid marks left by the guides as they were dragged down the slope when their clients, attached to them by ropes, were swept away.