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Fatality on Mont Blanc Following Severe Snow Storm

August 27 2004 at 9:46 AM
roger  (Login dipper)

Response to August 2004 Accidents/Rescues


[The article is wrong of course about Blanc being Europe's highest]

A British man has been rescued after spending three nights trapped on Europe's highest mountain - an ordeal which killed his climbing partner.

Edward Allen, 49, from Fairford, Gloucestershire, became stranded on Mont Blanc with a German woman in a severe snow storm on Sunday.

The temperature fell to minus 20C - feeling like minus 40C with the wind chill factor.

Rescue teams in a helicopter initially couldn't reach the pair because of the terrible weather conditions, and Mr Allen's 25-year-old companion died of hypothermia on Tuesday, a day before he was found.

Mr Allen said: "There was nothing I could do to save her, the winds were so ferocious, they battered the life out of her.

"She stopped functioning rationally and said to me, 'unless the helicopter comes now I'm not going to make it'.

"I told her we had to keep going and said I was going to dig another snow hole over a ridge. When I came back she wasn't moving at all."

The climbers started their ascent of Mont Blanc from Courmayeur on the Italian side of the mountain on Sunday, but when they encountered bad weather they had to take shelter by digging snow holes.

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