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It appears the avalanche theory of his death may have been
misinformation:

http://www.telemarktips.com/TeleNews.htm

" The most current information we are receiving, from a source in
contact with people on the scene in La Grave, is that Doug Coombs was
skiing at the end of the day with three friends. They were descending a
steep couloir. One of the four, reportedly a man from Colorado who had
been a regular in La Grave the past couple of seasons, began skiing
first, while Coombs and the others watched from above. The friend from
Colorado apparently hit a patch with an ice layer underneath and fell in
what was described as a definite "no-fall" zone. The Coloradoan
reportedly washed over a cliff and disappeared from view.

At this point the details become sketchy. Coombs is said to have wanted
to get a rope in order to check on his fallen friend's condition. While
assessing the situation, Coombs also fell. The remaining two skiers in
the party then called for a heli rescue. When the helicopter arrived
some 20 to 30 minutes later, Doug Coombs was already dead. The victim
from Colorado was still breathing, but unfortunately died later in the
hospital."

Lousy news, any way you cut it...

dana
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