Skier Missing Near Mont Blanc

A skier has been reported missing after taking an off-piste route in the Aiguilles Rouges sector of the Mont Blanc ski area according to the Mountain Police (PGHM) in Chamonix.

Chris Kedy-Cady, aged 24 and a resident of Boston, USA, has not been seen since Sunday night after going off-piste on the summit of the Brévent. A ground based search and a short helicopter flight during a break in the winter weather confirmed the presence of many avalanches in the area.  The search will begin again on Tuesday weather permitting.  The man was skiing with a friend, they separated at the summit (2526 meters) she declined to take an off-piste itineary.  The alert was giving on Sunday evening when the man failed to return to his hotel.

Last year four snowboarders survived for three nights on Mt Rosset in the Savoie after becoming disorientated while riding off-piste.  The avalanche risk is 5 (extreme) in nearly all of the French Alps today.  Backcountry travel should be restricted to low angle slopes well away from avalanche run-out paths and the top of steep slopes.

Posted by davidof on Monday, 12 January, 2004 at 10:32 PM

The bad weather has also surprised soldiers with the elite St-Cyr officer training school close to Paris.  Two officier trainees, of African origin have died of hypothermia while on an exercise in the Ubaye valley in the Alpes-de Haute-Provence.

After being surprised by a snowstorm they took refuge on Monday night at 2,500 meters altitude in the old barracks close to the Col de Restefond, Europe’s highest road pass.  7 other soldiers are reported to be suffering from the effects of the cold.

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 13 January, 2004  at 01:04 PM

The bad weather has prevented the search for the missing British skier from restarting this morning.  Stéphane Bozon, commander of the Chamonix Mountain Police was pessimistic about the chances of finding the man alive “it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack”, he commented.

Almost a year ago an Australian man died of hypothermia in the same area after getting disorientated.

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 13 January, 2004  at 02:30 PM

After a number of days of poor weather conditions the search for the missing skier, Chris Kedy-Cady has been abandoned.  Some of the missing skiers relatives had travelled to Chamonix.  A spokesman for the Mountain Police said they had now given up hope of finding Mr Kedy-Cady alive.

It seems likely that the skier was a victim of an avalanche.  If that is the case the snows will keep their secrets for many months yet.

Posted by davidof on  Friday, 23 January, 2004  at 12:44 PM

Three army officers are appearing in front of the Military chamber of the Marseille criminal court tomorrow (20/Nov/2007) for their role in the death of the two trainee soldiers in the Ubaye.

The director of the exercise and two other officers are accused of having modified the initial programme without having taken into account the health and safety issues for exercise in a high mountain environment. An exercise that led to the deaths of two officers of African origin from the Saint Cyr military college. The officers are accused of manslaughter and actual bodily harm with respect to the seven other trainees.

Over the night of the 12/13th the temperature was between -5 and -8 Celsius with strong winds, snow and low visibility. The trainees had to cover 13km using snowshoes at 2600m altitude. Trapped on the col de Restefond the group built a bivouac. The officers didn’t alert the rescue services until 3 hours after the first death and didn’t appreciate the dramatic change in the weather. The Officers face 3 years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros.

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 20 November, 2007  at 06:13 PM

Commander Christian Heintz and Capitan Pascal Lefebvre have been sentenced to 9 and 6 month prison terms respectively. The sentences were suspended. They both received a fine of 1400 euros. However these sentences will not be shown on their military record.

Posted by davidof on  Thursday, 22 November, 2007  at 08:53 AM
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