Two Italians Fall to Their Death on Mont Maudit

 

On 14 July 2020, two Italian mountaineers were practising on the French-Italian border on the Kuffner ridge when they went missing.

Alerted by the Italian Alpine Rescuers, the PGHM of Chamonix found their bodies the next day.

image: 
Mont Maudit seen from Mont Blanc du Tacul. heading SW. The original uploader was Eltouristo at French Wikipedia. / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)
Mont Maudit from Pointe Helbronner. Mrvoyage / Public domain

The two Italian mountaineers from Genoa went missing on 14 July 2020.

The last time their families heard from them was at 5 pm, when one of them called his family to let them know they were on the Kuffner ridge, on the French-Italian border. Named after the man who first crossed it in the late 18th century, the Kuffner ridge is very long and offers spectacular knife-edge-snow ridge climbing and lots of mixed terrains. It tops out on Mont Maudit [French literal translation: Cursed Mountain], at 4,465 m or 14,649 ft altitude.

Around 11.30 pm, Italian Alpine Rescuers from Valle d'Aosta alerted their colleagues, from the PGHM of Chamonix. At the time, the adverse weather made it impossible to carry out a reconnaissance flight mission, so the gendarmes had to postpone the search until the next day, 15 July 2020.

At 6 am, the PGHM of Chamonix found the bodies of the two men at the foot of the north face of Mont Maudit, on the French side.

According to the high mountain gendarmes, the cause of their death was a technical fault from the summit of Mont Maudit, which led to their fall over more than 300 meters (984 ft), between rocky bars and seracs.

“There was fog at the top. It is, therefore, possible that they lost their route on the descent", explains the commander of the PGHM, Stéphane Bozon. "At the moment, the slopes are icy, the snow is very hard, which makes the route more dangerous".

Aged 66 and 67, the victims were amateur but experienced mountaineers. The investigation opened by the PGHM will help confirm the gendarmes' hypotheses.

Source @Le Dauphine

On the same day, three more people lost their lives in mountain accidents in Haute-Savoie.

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