Steep, Deep and Deadly

Avalanches roared through Europe last week, killing dozens. Yet more skiers, seeking both thrills and serenity, are going out of their way to get into harm's way

For skiers, a heavy snowfall is a happy occasion, a piece of good meteorological fortune falling from the sky in soft crystals. Certainly, resort operators across the Alps must have felt lucky when as much as 20 ft. of snow piled up during the past six weeks in winter playgrounds like Chamonix, Klosters and Kitzbuhel. And European travel agents were busily feeding thousands of tourists into the mountains.

But the mountains have become voracious. Last week avalanches in the Austrian resort towns of Galtur and Valzur killed 38 people. Slides have also struck Chamonix in France and the Valais region...

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