Skooter reporting 07/13/12
A group of European climbers in the French Alps were swept over by an avalanche, killing nine people on the slopes of a peak called the "Cursed Mountain" or Mont Maudit in French.
In earlier report, four climbers were first reported missing, but police later said they were alive and accounted for, with two of them having called off their climb and two having taken a path different to the deadly one.
The nine people said to have died in the early Thursday avalanche on Mont Maudit, were three Britons, three Germans, two Spaniards and a Swiss, local police Colonel Bertrand Francois, said. Nine more climbers were slightly injured and were brought to a local hospital for treatment.
Among the dead was a British mountain guide, the former general secretary of the British Mountaineering Council, Roger Payne, the French PGHM mountain rescue group said, and a French guide was among the injured.
Mont Maudit rises to 4,465 meters (14,650 feet) and is deem one of the more not easy paths to the summit of Mont Blanc that at 4,810 meters (15,781 feet) is western Europe's highest peak.
The avalanche was believed to have been set off when a climber caused a sheet of snow and ice to break off the mountainside. It was reported that there were more than 20 people in a group, including guides, who had left a base at 3,600 meters at about 1:30 a.m. local time (2330 GMT Wednesday) for the climb.
At least 50 rescuers, including from Italy, had joined the search at a height of more than 4,000 meters (13,100 feet), where at some point snow drifts up to six meters (20 feet) thick.