The media effect did not play the role. Still, this year 2009, even though not the worst, will remain a dark one for mountain activities. If the raw data of the Platoon of alpine Gendarmerie (PGHM) reported a fatality at nearly 100 deaths in mountain terrain, after processing and analysis, the prefecture of Haute-Savoie, has recorded 56 deaths since January 1st purely related to mountain activities. As many deaths as in the local roads. This figure increased steadily since 2006 and is among the highest in the last ten years, but in absolute, not a record in itself. There have been more deadly overall, like 2006 with 64 casualties. But the great characteristic of this year, is the weight accidentology took on the other Haute-Savoie massifs, whereas hitherto the Mont Blanc crystallized the essence of the dramatic Alpine accidents.
Nearly 200 rescues for MTB riders
With 33 deaths outside of the Mont Blanc area, according to fire-fighters GMSP, involved in rescue with the police on other Haute-Savoie sectors. Lt. Patrick Ribes, in charge of PGHM Annecy registered 22 fatalities from hiking. Added to those of the Mont Blanc, it makes this activity the one with most accidents, with nearly half of all deaths. Considering the topology of the routes, steep and almost alpine, there is still more and more accidents in areas to the limit between hiking and climbing: Dent d'Oche, Pointe Perce or Salève, with four deaths. As for the fire-fighters, other activities of concern to the captain Marcellin, in charge of the GMSP, is mountain biking. A booming discipline and that the resorts are trying to promote in the summer between June and September, it caused nearly 200 rescues throughout the Haute-Savoie.
For the rest, in the Mont Blanc, the commander Lavergne, head of the Chamonix PGHM explains the increase of accidents with the rather unusual weather this year. "All summer, the mountain was accessible, normally the affluence and the number of potential accidents increases." Hence a sad record that finally, except perhaps the drama of the champion Karine Ruby, disappeared with her two clients last May, went rather unnoticed by the media relays. Yet some averages were chilling: The year began with a fatal January with 13 deaths in 15 days. This is called the law of series."
in le Dauphine, 08/10/09