4 climbers missing after French Alps avalanche accounted for
LYON—Four climbers thought missing Thursday after a deadly avalanche in the French Alps are alive and have been accounted for, with two having cancelled their climb and two having chosen a different route, police said.
“The toll will remain at nine dead,” Emmanuel Vegas, a lieutenant with Chamonix police, told AFP. “There are no more people on the list of those missing.”
Early on Thursday an avalanche killed nine climbers on Mont Maudit (“Cursed Mountain” in French) and the police thought four more — two Britons and two Spaniards — were missing, based on the guest list of a refuge from which the alpinists started out on their ascent.
However, the two Britons thought missing started from the refuge but turned around, escaping the deadly slide, he said.
And the two Spaniards thought missing “resold their spots in the refuge to two other Spaniards who unfortunately died in the avalanche,” he said.
The nine climbers killed by the slide were three Britons, three Germans, two Spaniards and a Swiss. Nine more climbers were lightly injured and treated at a local hospital.
The region of Mont Blanc, at 4,810 meters (15,781 feet) western Europe’s highest peak, is extremely popular with climbers.