Four climbers have been killed this afternoon by an avalanche in the Goulotte des enfers (Hell’s Gorge)which leads to the 2604 meter Barre des enfers. The group were accompanied by a High Mountain Guide who was injured by the slide injured. The 700 meter climb is graded as Very Difficult.
The first known ascent of the route was by Sébastien Constant, a high mountain guide. In his description of the 2007 ascent he noted that the route is very exposed to avalanches and is only to be attempted under very stable conditions. The couloir funnels purges from the upper slopes and is dangerous during fresh snowfall. The avalanche risk was 2 at the time of the incident and the underlying snowpack was stable.
Due to the poor weather (high winds) the PGHM rescue helicopter had to land at Crévoux and the rescue teams then proceeded on foot.