According to Le Dauphine, the two mountaineers aimed to climb the Tour Ronde and its 3,792 meters above sea level and were supposed to find the same refuge once the mission accomplished. Except they never came back.
The victims have been identified: two young French mountaineers, a man and a woman, Adrien Mermin (26) and Marine Laisse (30), from Haute-Savoie and members of the French Alpine Club (CAF) Annecy.
The pair had started Thursday morning 14th June 2018, alone, without a guide from Refuge Torino (3,371m), situated on the southeast spur of Pointe Helbronner. As good practitioners, they were roped and they were wearing a helmet and crampons. It was not an outing organised by the Alpine Club.
The alert was given by the guardian of the Torino Hut, realizing that they had not returned the day before.
The Chamonix High Mountain Rescue Team (PGHM) took off at around 9 a.m. to fly over the area aboard the Civil Security helicopter.
The bodies were detected a few minutes later, at about 3,500 meters above sea level, facing south-east, on the Italian side.
The preferred hypothesis: a fall on the descent from the summit
According to Le Dauphine, the preferred hypothesis is that they suffered a fatal fall during the descending from the summit, in the afternoon, when the snow was "soft" and that the climbers were moving on the ridge leading to the col Freshfield and 'Entrèves, probably the same route used to climb up.
Descent: normal route East side (45-50° slope).
The Italian police in charge of the investigation will have to determine the exact circumstances of the accident.
We remind you that a fatal accident had already occurred at Tour Ronde on Sunday 3rd June 2018. Click here to read our article of 4th June 2018.