Mont Blanc avalanche, little hope for 8 climbers

Rescue services in Chamonix have said there is little hope of finding eight missing climbers, buried by an avalanche on Mont Blanc early today, alive. Two missing Italians checked in with the authorities when they returned to the valley.

The avalanche struck at 3 am at 3600 meters on the normal route to Mont Blanc under the Mont Blanc du Tacul. The conditions were described as “excellent “ although this part of the route is known for its avalanche risk. The slide is thought to have been triggered by a serac fall and measured 200 by 50 meters. The roped climbing groups would have had little chance of escape in the dark. 40 rescue workers with avalanche dogs attended the scene, it is unusual for climbers to wear avalanche beacons. The search operation was complicated by the high risk of secondary avalanches. The missing climbers include five men from Austria, one a guide from the Tyrol and three Swiss. It is the largest loss of life in a French avalanche since an avalanche hit the village of Montroc above Chamonix in 1999.

Posted by davidof on Sunday, 24 August, 2008 at 05:31 PM

really awful.... i can’t imagine.. kinda answers my earlier question…

Posted by  on  Tuesday, 26 August, 2008  at 11:58 AM

Alain Duclos has posted some pictures here

Some experts have said that the sheer number of people tackling the route increases the chance of large accidents such as this as climbers tend to bunch up.

Posted by davidof on  Monday, 01 September, 2008  at 09:33 AM

The body of the final victim, a Swiss national, has been found by climbers at 3800 meters.

Posted by davidof on  Wednesday, 05 May, 2010  at 10:21 PM
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