President of the UIAGM killed by crevasse fall

Some sad news has reached us today from our colleagues at Savoyard guide Claude Rey, president of the International Mountain Guides association (UIAGM) has died after falling into a crevasse yesterday. We have discussed mountain safety with Claude in the past, most recently at a conference held in Grenoble this winter. 

Press reports say that Claude was at the tail of a group of five climbers on the terminal moraine of the Aletchs glacier early yesterday morning when a snow bridge gave way. The group was unroped and he fell 30 meters. Evacuated by helicopter to hospital in Sion he died later of his injuries. Claude became a high mountain guide in 1972 and had headed both the European and French guide’s associations. He had had a leading role in improving safety amongst guides, particuarly in the appreciation of risks posed by snow and avalanches.

Posted by davidof on Sunday, 29 July, 2007 at 06:12 PM

Some detail on the accident. According to Swiss Guide Hermann Biner, a friend of Rey’s it was normal to be unroped at this point on the glacier due to the risk of stonefall. He said that a hundred climbers must have crossed the snow bridge the last few days without incident. Tributes have poured in from around the world on

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 31 July, 2007  at 09:11 AM

Another guide was telling me that it’s normal to be unroped at this point also. In fact, I’d not appreciated where it was exactly, he was saying it was just after leaving the ladders from the Konkordia Hut. You can see the situation from the webcam :

I’d had the impression it was actually nearer to Konkordiaplatz but I think that was nothing more than local gossip.

Posted by ise on  Sunday, 05 August, 2007  at 06:33 PM

Françoise Gendarme has been elected as the first woman president of the SNGM (French Mountain Guides Union). The SNGM has just 15 women amongst its 1500 guides.

Posted by davidof on  Sunday, 02 December, 2007  at 05:17 PM
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