Austrian official warns skiiers away from Galteur

NEW YORK -- "The situation is dangerous in Galtuer, Austria, and people should avoid this area," Erich Neuhold, chairman of the Alpine Tourist Commission and director of the Austrian Tourist Office, said.

Galtuer is located about an hour from Innsbruck, Austria, and was the site of an avalanch that killed at least 27 people.

Neuhold added, "We are deeply concerned about the latest casualties and the safety of our visitors and countrymen. However, it is important to note that it is business as usual at the majority of ski areas."

As Travel Weekly went to press, the following information was current:

  • In France, about 90% of the terrain is closed at Chamonix, site of an avalanche that killed 12 people earlier this month.
  • In Switzerland, resort areas affected by avalanches and/or road closures are: Graubunden, Davos, lower Engadin, Elm, Malbun, Andermatt, Bernese Oberland, Grindelwald, Zermatt and Saas Fee.
  • In Austria, some affected areas are St. Anton, Lech, Zuers, Galteur and Gaschurn.
  • Popular alpine areas that are open include Courchevel, France, which is fully operational; Val d'Isere, France, which has 75% of its terrain open; Zermatt, Switzerland, which has 80% of its lifts running, and St. Moritz, Switzerland, where the majority of lifts are open, according to tourism officials.

    Agents requiring information on current conditions should contact their operators, who are being kept informed on a daily basis by alpine tourist offices. -- F.L.

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