Sad day for the Aiguille du Midi this Wednesday 19 May. Two fatal accidents mourn the long-awaited re-launch of the iconic cable car of the Chamonix Valley, closed for 7 months.
The heavy snowfall of these recent days in high mountain and a short good-weather window have pushed many skiers to get on their first ski-runs. Several skiers headed down Mallory corridor. Others on the Cosmiques corridor.
In this corridor of about 700 meters, a classic steep slope, a young skier (aged 23) accidentally triggered a wind slab avalanche leading him in a long fall to the base of the corridor. Covered under two meters of snow, he was located by his ski partner, who gave the alert at 10:35 a.m. The young skiers were probably the first to ski down the corridor. A helicopter with on board a mountain rescue doctor and the gendarmes of the PGHM of Chamonix was dispatched on the spot. In cardiac arrest, the young skier, resident of Chamonix, could not be resuscitated. His body was transported by the PGHM gendarmes at the Drop Zone (DZ) of the Bois.
Just before noon, another alert was given for an mountaineer crossing alone the Cosmiques corridor. After a recall, and after he passed a rocky spur, the mountaineer triggered a slab avalanche. Taken to the foot of the corridor, on the side overlooking the Col du Midi, he was buried under a meter of snow. The group of people that alerted the PGHM about the accident went also to the scene to try to take out the chamoniard mountaineer, who turned out to be an experienced high-mountain guide. Sadly, on their arrival at the site of the accident, the PGHM declared the victim dead at the scene. Due to bad weather, his body could not be evacuated by helicopter. His remains have therefore been protected and will be evacuated next time, as soon as the weather permits.
In addition, the Chamonix PGHM carried out two other rescues in the Vallee Blanche classic off piste of Mont-Blanc massif, where skiers came from the Aiguille du Midi found themselves technically blocked.
Source: @Le Dauphiné