Father and Son Die Hiking in Chamonix

Snowy conditions made the trail treacherous

chamonix father son dead alps france hiking

A view of Chamonix Valley.     Photo: Fermion/Flickr

A British man and his son died while hiking in the French Alps near Chamonix this weekend. Peter Saunders, 48, and his 12-year-old son, Charlie, were hiking the Couloir des Bossons in the Mont-Blanc range on Saturday. The popular trail can be slippery and hard to follow this time of year. Authorities believe that the son slipped and fell and that his father fell while trying to search for him.

The rescue centre at Annecy received a brief call from the father at around 3 p.m. on Saturday, saying that his son had fallen and disappeared.

"He said he could no longer see him and couldn't get to him," said Captain Patrice Ribes, the deputy commander of the mountain rescue gendarmerie at Chamonix.

"We think the father tried to find his son after he called us and asked for rescue. We believe he fell as he tried to find his son."

While officers are still investigating the circumstances, Captain Patrice Ribes of the mountain rescue gendarmerie of Chamonix said that the pair might have mistaken the trail. "They could have got lost, because in winter you can't see the path because it disappears under the snow as it crosses the corridors and one can very easily fall," said Ribes. "It's a slide of snow and ice, with rocky ledges at regular intervals and if you don't have crampons or icepicks, it's impossible to stop."

He said the pair had been equipped for a day walk, with "trekking-type shoes with tread soles that are not suitable for a snow- and ice-covered winter mountain."

Via The Guardian

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