Avalanches have been a big risk at this year's Inter Services Winter Sport Championships in Meribel.

This is because of the huge amount of snow that covered the Alps at the start of the season.

Luckily, there is a team always ready to keep everyone safe, including the military.

Alexis Delpeyrou has been part of Meribel's ski patrol for 25 years and says 'they are there to save lives':

"We know the mountain and it's always a pleasure to help and to save people."

One of his key responsibilities is to train avalanche dogs and to make sure that they are ready for the worst: "To have an avalanche dog is like having a baby, you have it for all your life.

"After one year, you start to train especially for avalanches. You have to take it as a game, and I think the dogs enjoy this kind of things." 

Meribel Avalanche Dogs
Most natural avalanches in Meribel occur during the spring, when the sun starts melting the snow.

However, these are generally not very dangerous, as skiers and snowboarders avoid adventuring on wet and heavy snow. 

On the contrary, most avalanche accidents happen in the cold months of December, January and February, when there is a lot of off-piste traffic.

In 90 percent of avalanche accidents, the victim or someone in the victim's party triggers the avalanche.