By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Tunnel vision: The road into Ischgi was briefly open before being closed because of avalanche fears
More than 1,000 British holidaymakers are trapped in the Alps after freak snowfalls severed road, rail and air links.
As much as 18ft of snow has fallen in Austria the past few days with falling trees and rocks blocking many routes.
Some 1,000 British skiers are stuck in the Austrian town of Ischgl alone, with more trapped in the resorts of Galtur, St Anton and Arlberg – which have seen as much as 10ft of snow in the past 48 hours.
Soldiers of the Austrian armed force, pictured search for a missing 15-year-old on Sunday in the ski area of Axamer Lizum. A number of inexperienced skiers including children have had to be airlifted from the snow
Yesterday authorities in the region raised the avalanche warning to stage three, or ‘considerable risk’, and holidaymakers were advised to stay indoors.
Few ski lifts were operating and many pistes were closed down as darkness fell.
One of the few lifts still working shut down in the sub-zero temperatures, stranding 150 skiers on the slopes in the popular resort of Mayrhofen.
A view of the mountain rescue search team looking for a missing 15-year-old
Two Austrian Army helicopters were scrambled to airlift a number of inexperienced skiers – including children – down the difficult slopes above the Ahornbahn lift.
High Alpine winds continue to create the potential for fearsome snowslides according to the local Avalanche Commission, which is monitoring the situation.
Some 76,000 households, hotels, pensions and guest houses have been hit by power cuts over the past few days as a result of the storms.