JP Auclair, Andreas Fransson killed in avalanche

JP Auclair, Andreas Fransson killed in avalanche

Monday, September 29, 2014, freeskiing pioneers JP Auclair (CAN) and Andreas Fransson (SWE) were killed in an avalanche that occurred on Mount San Lorenzo, Cochrane, part of the Chilean Aysen region. The Chilean news agency BioBio Chile first reported them missing, and later Publimetro confirmed that the two had perished following the avalanche.

Mount San Lorenzo (3,706 m) is situated on the Chilean/Argentine border. The avalanche is said to have swept nearly 700 meters, depositing in Argentinian territory.

The incident was first reported to local police in Cochrane via satellite phone. Also traveling with the pair, but unharmed, were Swedes Bjarne Salén and Daniel Rönnbäck.

JP-Auclair-Andreas-Fransson-AvalancheNASA image of San Lorenzo as seen form the south.

CBC reports Auclair and Fransson were first spotted on Tuesday morning via helicopter. Given the remote location, an extraction was not immediately possible.

CBC also reports that the bodies would be removed by Argentine authorities in a joint rescue operation, and are due to be examined by a forensic team in Rio Gallegos, Argentina.

Regional director of Chile’s Emergency Service, Sidi Bravo, tells CBC, “Ninety percent of the people who go missing in the hard-to-reach area are never found. It was lucky to have found them and to be able to recover them.”

Publimetro reports, “[Auclair and Fransson] came to the town to Balmaceda on September 26 and left the next day accompanied by a tour guide.”

Fransson and Auclair had planned to spend two weeks in the region, according to a post made by Fransson on Instagram, with the intent of capturing footage for a web series, set to air later in the fall. Auclair was 37. Fransson was 31.

[Updating]

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