Avalanche Kills Two on Mont Blanc de Tacul

One survives

Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc     Photo: David Baum

Two Italian mountain climbers were killed and another injured Tuesday by an avalanche in the French Alps. The accident occurred at 4 a.m. on Mont Blanc de Tacul, a 14,000-foot peak that is a popular route to the summit of Mont Blanc.

Bad weather prevented rescuers from initially using helicopters to reach the accident, but more than 60 search and rescue crew members eventually took part in the operation along with two helicopters and two sniffer dog teams. The injured climber, an Italian mountain guide, was evacuated to a nearby hospital.

The route to Mont Blanc can be prone to avalanches due to its steep slope, and climbers generally avoid the area after heavy snow. About a week had passed since the last heavy snowfall, Stuart Macdonald, a British mountain guide and director of the Avalanche Academy in Chamonix, told the Associated Press

Two other climbers were found dead in a seperate incident on Tuesday, 80 miles southwest of the accident on Roche de la Muzelleis, a mountain in the Ecrins. It remains unclear how they died.

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