/ NEWS: Five French climbers killed
Rescuers say they have found the bodies of
five French ski-mountaineers who had been missing since
they were swept away by an avalanche during an excursion in
Italy's northwestern Alps.
Officials in the city of Aosta say the bodies were found
early Thursday after a suspension of the search Wednesday
because of darkness.
The accident has happened on the Piedmont (Turin) side of Gran Paradiso, near the Col the Nivolet, precisely at Punta Basei, it's a easy and popular ski mountaineering hike. It was not a "regular" avalanche - all five probably happened to pass over a big "corniche" that suddenly collapsed, and triggered an avalanche below. The bodies has been found and recovered by the Piedmont mountain rescue.
The sixth member of the group (their guide) has been found alive by the VdA Rescue, as he was unharmed but disoriented.
Over the area there was a huge storm, and the avalanche risk was "4", very high. Search was triggered by the Nivolet hut warden, who had not seen the group come back in the afternoon.
The bodies are now on Ceresole. The identities of the five climbers (all french) has not been yet released, so I guess their families have not been contacted yet.
If anyone reading this is worried about friends/relatives in the area, they should contact the Ceresole rescue (+39) 347 29.84.160, or the Aosta rescue (+39) 0165 238222
I know that risk of death is something we have to accept when we venture into the mountains, but it's still tragic when it happens. Very sad news.
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