2 Climbers Dead on Les Droites

After storm traps them

Adam Roy

Two climbers have died on the north face of Les Droites in the French Alps after becoming pinned down by a snowstorm. The unidentified alpinists were attempting to climb the Lagarde Couloir when they took refuge from the storm in a snowcave.

While high winds prevented a rescue helicopter from reaching them, the two stayed in contact with authorities in nearby Chamonix via mobile phone; on Friday, one of the climbers told police that his partner had died. During a flyby on Saturday, high-mountain rescue personnel saw a climber dangling on a rope outside the cave and ascertained that he was dead. Rescuers said they would attempt to retrieve the bodies as soon as conditions stabilized.

This week’s deaths on Les Droites are reminiscent of another tragedy on the mountain in 1999, when a storm trapped British climbers Jamie Andrew and Jamie Fisher on the peak for seven days. Fisher died while Andrew lost his hands and feet to frostbite.

Via U.K. Climbing