Mont-Blanc Massif: Italian Climber Dies at Aiguille d'Entrèves


On 27 August 2020, two mountaineers were practising on the Aiguille d 'Entrèves (3,604 m or 15,104 ft), in the Mont-Blanc massif, near the Franco-Italian border, when one of them fell 40 meters (131 ft).

The PGHM of Chamonix intervened promptly. However, the mountaineer was already dead when they arrived.

Stone tower in Aiguille d'Entrèves, Mont Blanc Massif, France/Italy border. Author Carlos Baquero, photo source, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
PGHM Chamonix helicopter, credit

The 41-year-old Italian woman was on her last day of vacation in Chamonix, together with a 33-year-old friend.

The two mountaineers climbed to the Aiguille d'Entrèves summit. According to the PGHM commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Stéphane Bozon, the two mountaineers were "autonomous and well equipped".

According to the gendarmerie, the two women made an error in the route during the descent, the arrival of the first clouds causing them to branch off from the normal route too soon. Then, they undertook two phases of recall. During the second, a mooring strap broke.

The victim, who was under tension on the rope, fell 40 meters into the rimaye - the crevasse that forms where moving glacier ice separates from the stagnant ice or firn above.

"It was an unfortunate accident", explains Stéphane Bozon.

The second mountaineer is unharmed as she was not carried away, the rope having spun in her lanyard. At 1.30 pm, quickly after the accident, she notified the emergency services.

Two gendarmes from the PGHM of Chamonix and a doctor from the SMUR intervened on the spot aboard a gendarmerie helicopter, but they couldn't do any anything for the Italian mountaineer.

The PGHM transported her body to the Bois drop-off area, where the funeral directors picked her up. The strap in question was already placed on the wall and in new condition. An investigation was opened by the PGHM.

Sources @France3, Le Dauphine

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