Pair Die in Dolomite Rescue Attempt

Rockfall severs rescuers' ropes


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Two members of the San Vito di Cadore Mountain Rescue service died early Wednesday morning as they tried to reach two German climbers stranded on Italy’s Monte Pelmo. Foggy conditions in the Dolomites had ruled out a rescue by helicopter, forcing Alberto Bonafede and Aldo Giustina to rappel off Pelmo’s 10,300-foot summit. The men fell some 700 hundred meters when a large rockfall cut their ropes. The stranded climbers were later rescued by helicopter, but continuing rockfalls have kept authorities from recovering the bodies of either Bonafede or Guistina. Dry weather conditions near the France-Italy border are believed to have caused a rockfall last week that closed a popular climbing route up Mount Blanc.