Advanced warning of Mont Blanc avalanche

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Advanced warning of Mont Blanc avalanche

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Authorities in the French Alps, where nine people were killed in a 150 metre wide avalanche, have claimed that they warned climbers of increased dangers from landslides.

Officials said heavy snow falls and high winds had created the perfect conditions for an avalanche around Mont Blanc.

The dead from Thursday’s tragedy included three British, one Swiss, three Germans and two Spanish climbers.

“In the front there were really experienced mountain guides. It was a really tragic accident. I think those people, they were at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said mountain guide Klemen Gričar.

“I saw a French guide with a dislocated shoulder, badly injured, shaking because of strong wind and cold, so it was really horrible,” he added.

While many in the group of 28 mountaineers escaped the avalanche, nine people were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries.

Euronews’ correspondent in Chamonix Alberto de Filippis said: “The normal route to Mont Blanc from the refuge known as the “Cosmic Hut” is not particulary difficult. It is a path used every year by hundreds of tourists and does not require special technical skills.

“For most climbers, the real challenge would have begun a day later when they attempted a further 1,000 metre climb to Mont Maudit. It was there the mountain gave way and took with it at least nine lives.”