Black weekend in the mountains: three hikers lose their lives

Civil security helicopter on mission over the Brevent ski area in Chamonix

Sunday 4 February 2024 was a difficult day for mountain rescue, with 11 serious interventions.

The gendarmerie helicopter had a hard time coping, Pascal Brun's private company CMBH was requisitioned for a rescue from a crevasse below the Requin refuge, because the PGHM helicopter was on a cover for a mountaineer evolving in a chute, victim of a block of ice falling in the face.

 

 

Not too much of a season for activities in the Chorde couloir.

Major interventions followed one another until a fatal tragedy at about 11:30 a.m. above the village of Servoz. Two people on a hike were found dead at the foot of the Chorde couloir.

According to the information gathered on the spot, it appears that they slipped and fell 50 metres down the steep couloir. The Chorde couloir is a popular hike that  leads up to Pointe Noire de Pormenaz and to the small lake of the same name.

Another fall with a slide of 400 meters on snow, towards the Col des Montets. This is the col between the Chamonix Valley and the valley of the bear, Vallorine.  Suffering from multiple traumas and unconscious, the patient was initially evacuated to the hospital in Sallanches.

Another walker and another tragedy, above the commune of Praz-sur-Arly near the chalets of Very. The person, originally from Haute-Savoie, died of a cardiac arrest, despite the means implemented.

At the Roc d'Enfer, in the Haut Chablais, a ski-tourer took a serious fall and sustained multiple injuries. The unconscious patient was air-lifted to a hospital in Geneva. 

In the words of the head of the PGHM, "It should be remembered that in the mountains, snow is  like concrete.  Any fall can have serious consequences."