French authorities have released a short statement that the bodies of five missing French climbers have been found on Mont Blanc in the French Alps. A sixth climber, thought to be the mountain guide of the group, is still missing.
The climbers went missing last night after the weather turned bad. Rescue teams have been out since dawn this morning looking for the missing persons.
“The group of five – four men and one woman – attached to one cord and led by an experienced guide – was ascending the Aiguille d’Argentière (Argentière’s Needle) on Europe’s highest mountain when they were reportedly caught by bad weather on Tuesday evening.
When they failed to arrive at a mountain refuge as planned, the alarm was raised. A rescue helicopter was unable to take off immediately on Tuesday because of the worsening weather. On Wednesday morning, the mountain gendarmerie discovered the bodies of five climbers, aged between 27 and 45.” – theguardian.com
This latest tragedy brings the death toll on the Alpine mountain to 13 in less than a month.
The identities of the climbers has not been released.
About Mont Blanc from wikipedia.org:
“Mont Blanc (French pronunciation: [mɔ̃.blɑ̃]) or Monte Bianco (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmonte ˈbjaŋko]), both meaning “White Mountain”, is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union. It rises 4,810 m (15,781 ft) above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. It is also sometimes known as La Dame blanche (French for “the White Lady”) or Il Bianco (Italian for “the White One”).
The mountain lies in a range called the Graian Alps, between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy, and Haute-Savoie, France. The location of the summit is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny in Italy and the valleys of Montjoie Valley and Arve Valley in France. The Mont Blanc massif is popular for mountaineering, hiking, skiing, and snowboarding.
The three towns and their communes which surround Mont Blanc are Courmayeur in Aosta Valley, Italy, and both Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Chamonix in Haute-Savoie, France — the latter being the site of the first Winter Olympics. A cable car ascends and crosses the mountain range from Courmayeur to Chamonix, through the Col du Géant. Begun in 1957 and completed in 1965, the 11.6 km (7¼ mi) Mont Blanc Tunnel runs beneath the mountain between these two countries and is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes.”