Mountaineer dies on Mont Blanc during severe storm

Rescuers who received his call for help on Thursday set out to rescue the man but, despite being able to find him, poor weather conditions prevented the helicopters to get close enough

Ella Glover
Sunday 01 August 2021 15:51
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<p>Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe</p>

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe

A man in his forties died while climbing Mont Blanc early Friday morning despite a rescue effort.

The man, who had been climbing western Europe’s tallest mountain alone, got suck at around 4,800 metres after losing his way due to the poor weather conditions.

Rescuers who received his call for help on Thursday set out to rescue the man but, despite being able to find him, poor weather conditions prevented the helicopters to get close enough, André-Vianney Espinasse, commander of the safety and rescue service PGHM Chamonix Mont-Blanc, told the news agency AFP.

In an attempt to reach the mountaineer, one helicopter dropped a platoon of rescuers off at 3,200 metres. They proceeded to attempt to climb up to the man despite the poor weather. They found him two hours later.

Unfortunately, at around 5.30am, the climber suffered cardiac arrest and died, Mr Espinasse said.

After another helicopter tried and failed to retrieve the body due to high winds, the rescuers made the decision to leave the body and get out of “this extremely dangerous area”.

The man’s body was eventually retrieved by an Italian helicopter.

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe, rising 4,808.7 metres above sea level.

It is the eleventh most prominent mountain summit in the world.

Mr Espinasse warned against climbing solo.

“Going solo on high mountains should really be avoided due to all the dangers involved,” he said.

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