Not as innocent as its modest height might suggest
First, or Fraxner First, is a subsidiary summit (1'646m / 5'400ft) of Hoher Freschen
, on its long northwest ridge (map
). In recent years, its steep south slope has seen a number of serious avalanches. The last major incident is described in detail in this rather terrifying report on a fatal avalanche
in 2009 (in German).
Local papers run warnings like this one
every year (also in German).
When I was there, a minor avalanche came down, but still big enough to warrant a long and immediate helicopter mission.
Fraxner First (1'464m) before (left) and after (right) the avalanche of March 7, 2015.
Fraxner First (1'464m); left: after the avalanche, seen from the village of Fraxern; right: above Fraxern, seen from Kamor (1'751m) in neighboring Switzerland (March 2014).
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