One of the worst mountain tragedies in recent years has occurred in the French Alps. The bodies of six climbers have been found by an English hiker yesterday morning. It appears that the six became “unattached from the mountain” and fell approximately 650 feet into a pass below.
The climbers appear to have died about 24 hours before their bodies were found. The hiker who made the macabre discovery called a mountain rescue team. He was at an altitude of 2700 meters on the Neige Cordier peak. This is located about three miles from Villar-d-Arene in the Hautes-Alpes region. This area is located in the Massif Ecrin mountain range, which lies just south east of Grenoble. It’s very popular with climbers, but it’s not considered especially dangerous by climbing experts. The French police have begun an investigation into the climbers’ deaths.
According to reports, the weather was clear and just about perfect when the six departed from Villar-d’Arene at 6 am Saturday morning. Their goal was to climb Neige Cordier peak. There were two men, three women, and one youth in the group of six. The group was equipped with ice axes, crampons, and acceptable climbing clothing. Two groups of three were roped together and it was not far into their climb that tragedy struck. While investigators are not yet sure what caused their fall, it was initially believed that an avalanche of rocks and snow hit the group. Now, however, it is believed that the group fell due to human error. According toAvon, the local magistrate, investigators know that “on the face of it there wasn’t an avalanche. They came unattached…At the moment we don’t know why.”