Twelve Polish ski mountaineers, trapped since Tuesday by bad weather in the small Vallot refuge (4 362 meters) were rescued today during a short break in the bad weather.
The skiers had been attempting the summit of Mt Blanc on one of the standard routes. The group was rescued by the Chamonix section of the Mountain Police (PHGM). Four of the victims were dropped in Chamonix by an Alouette 3, one of them was detained for hospital treatment. A larger Bell 412 dropped the remaining 8 mountaineers in Italy in two rotations. Due to bad weather helicopter flights had been blocked since Tuesday and three of the victims were suffering from the effects of altitude.
The group were well equipped for the conditions with gas stoves to melt snow for hot drinks although they were beginning to run short of food. There has been over 1 meter of fresh snow in the last week in the Alpes.