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History Rewind: avalanche hits royal ski party

Tragedy on the slopes in 1988 for Prince Charles and some friends.

Tragedy on the slopes in 1988 for Prince Charles and some friends.

Today in 1988, The Prince of Wales by a hair’s breadth dodged death whilst skiing in Klosters, Switzerland. An avalanche killed one of his closest friends. Major Hugh Lindsay, former equerry to the Queen, who plummeted 400m down a ski slope when the avalanche occurred. The royal party that included Prince Charles was skiing “off piste” on the Wang run, known as one of the most complex runs in the region. This type of skiing occurs in mountainous terrain on dangerous paths or trails.

It was reported at the time avalanche on Mt. Gotschnagrat near Klosters originated approximately 100 feet above the royal ski party. Those skiing included The Prince, Major Lindsay, Mrs Palmer-Tomkinson’s her husband, a Swiss guide and a Swiss policeman. The avalanche began at 2:45 p.m.

Patti Palmer-Tomkinson, who was also part of the skiing party, suffered severe leg injuries in the accident as well. Charles and other members of the group were able to ski to safety. Unfortunately Major Lindsay and Mrs. Palmer-Tomkinson were not stationary as the rest of the group and therefore were caught in the avalanche.

Once the danger had passed, The Prince along with the group guide and the police officer hastily tried to assist the victims, digging furiously in the snow to extract them from the effects of the avalanche. Both victims were airlifted to a hospital in Davos, where Major Lindsay later died.

Charles, an experienced skier, first learned to ski at the age of 14. Klosters is a favourite of Charles and in the past has brought along with Princes William and Harry were photographed enjoying numerous ski holidays.

photo credit: L e n o r a via photopin cc

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