Mountaineer in fatal fall South Couloir Aiguille Qui Remue

 
 

Monday 10th April, 2017, in the early afternoon, a French man (67), suffered a fatal fall of about 400 meters, in the South Couloir of Aiguille Qui Remue (3724 m), in the Mont-Blanc Massif.

image: 
Aiguille Qui Remue (3724 m), the Courtes sector. photo source : www.camptocamp.org
South Couloir Aiguille Qui Remue (3724 m), in the Mont-Blanc Massif. photo source : www.camptocamp.org
The Chamonix PGHM Helicopter. photo source : www.ledauphine.com
On the side of Pointe Isabelle -Versant Talèfre. photo source : www.camptocamp.org
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According to Le Dauphine, the accident occurred in the early afternoon, the 67-year-old man, mountaineer and skier, has suffered a fatal fall in the South Couloir of Aiguille Qui Remue (the Courtes sector) onto the Talèfre glacier, while skiing with a group of friends.

According to the preliminary investigations led by the Chamonix PGHM, the man was part of a group of eight friends, who knew each other through the Caf (French Alpine Club) of Nancy, although this escapade was not organized by Caf. Their original plan was to climb and ski from the summit of Point Isabelle, which overlooks the same glacier Talèfre. However, the members of the group changed their plans and deviated from this route, to the Aiguille Qui Remue.

According to Le Dauphine, after spending the night at the Couvercle Refuge, at 2,687 meters above sea level, the group climbed the couloir to the summit of the Aiguille Qui Remue, before starting a ski descent down the couloir. The victim was the last person to enter the couloir.

The angle of the couloir of the Aiguille Qui Remue starts at 45 degrees for 200m, then 100 m at 50 degrees, followed by 200 m at 45/50 degrees. An angle of 50 degrees is challenging and the victim took a fall, descending out of control for a distance between 400 to 600 meters, passing other skiers.

The other skiers, who witnessed the accident, raised the alarm by telephone at 12:30pm to the Chamonix PGHM.

The Chamonix PGHM responded quickly, arriving by helicopter, at the site of the accident. Sadly, the victim was declared dead at the scene.

According to Le Dauphine, the 67-year-old victim was of French nationality but resided in Canada.

An investigation has been opened by the Chamonix PGHM to determine the exact circumstances of the accident.
Questionable decisions, can lead to fatal accidents. The PGHM will look at the decision to the change of the route, from the Pointe Isabelle, with its North facing slope and less challenging and wide descent, to the South West facing narrow couloir, of the Aiguille Qui Remue, with sections of 50 degrees descent. Also, they will look at the preparation, and any easier routes the ski-mountaineers might have made, in the days preceding the fatal descent.

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