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Mont Blanc Avalanche

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
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Mont Blanc Avalanche

Postby pkripper » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:40 am

As reported from ABC news...
An avalanche in the French Alps on Thursday swept six climbers to their deaths, left at least nine injured and about a dozen others unaccounted for, authorities said. Rescuers are searching for the missing.

Re: Mont Blanc Avalanche

Postby jimlup » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:03 am

Yikes! You never know when something big is going to let go... damn!
"Just because you have the gear does not mean that you are a Mountaineer!" My daughter's cynical comment about my hobby...

Re: Mont Blanc Avalanche

Postby Nelson » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:35 am

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/12/mont-blanc-avalanche-britons-dead

Sadly, this happens all the time in the summer on Mt. Blanc.

The first time I was there an old guide told me "if the french guides aren't climbing, don't climb."


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Re: Mont Blanc Avalanche

Postby Carl » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:40 am

What horrible news. Sounds like they were headed to Mont Blanc via the three monts traverse when the serac broke off causing the avalanche. For those not familiar with the area, I think the accident happened on the left side of this photo (taken last summer).
Image

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Re: Mont Blanc Avalanche

Postby jbchalk » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:58 am

Really really tragic. My condolences to all the friends & families.

Carl, I believe you are correct. The bottom left side or bottom center of your picture on Maudit.

I also saw this video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18815088

At 0:57, there is a brief view up Maudit and you can see the debris field with searchers in about the area of the picture you point out.

I remember hurrying thru this section on our descent a few years ago looking up at those seracs...a bit unnerving.

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Re: Mont Blanc Avalanche

Postby wildlobo71 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:05 am

Carl wrote:What horrible news. Sounds like they were headed to Mont Blanc via the three monts traverse when the serac broke off causing the avalanche. For those not familiar with the area, I think the accident happened on the left side of this photo (taken last summer).
Image


That is just one pile of nasty with a hair trigger... RIP to all the climbers involved who perished and a safe recovery to those who survived.
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Yes, I have my Scotch.

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Re: Mont Blanc Avalanche

Postby semitrueskerm » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:15 am

For what it's worth...Wikipedia says Mont Blanc averages 100 fatalities/year... Not saying that Wiki is the best source, here, btw.

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Re: Mont Blanc Avalanche

Postby devo » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:04 am

We were planning on doing the 3 monts route a couple of weeks ago, but after talking to the local guides, the route wasn't very consolidated yet and they were having trouble with ice breaking off and sliding so we took the Gouter route. Very sad for everyone involved.

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Re: Mont Blanc Avalanche

Postby jjust » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:08 pm

Odd time of the day for an avalanche. Sounds like icefall from higher up likely triggered the avalanche. We climbed this route last year. Here is another photo of the headwall where it occurred similar to the one posted above.

Image

Image

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Re: Mont Blanc Avalanche

Postby robby40 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:10 pm


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Re: Mont Blanc Avalanche

Postby mtnview » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:43 pm

Is there a safer route on this mountain? Looking at a slope like that I'd pass and do something else.

Don't want to exit the planet any sooner than I have to.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise (of his return), as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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