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Topic - NEWS: Tragedy on Grandes Jorasses

Luca Signorelli - on 05 Nov 2011
South side of the Grandes Jorrasses - descent routes marked, 4 kbOlivier Sourzac, a guide from Chamonix, and a client (a French woman climber named Charlotte, 40 years old) are stuck since Thursday on the Rochers Whymper, on the Italian side of the Grandes Jorasses, at around 4000m. They had reached the summit after climbing the North Face, but the arrival of the storm (the worst rain we had in 10 years, most of NW Italy is under threat of flood, and six people died yesterday in Genoa) had blocked them more or less halfway up the Rochers Whymper, on the L side of the great summit serac. Their last phone contact was 24 hours ago - Olivier is ok, but Charlotte was reported as very exhausted. Their position is extremely serious - temperatures in the area are now at -25, and the storm will not rebound for at least another two days.

Both the French PGHM and the Italian VdA Mountain Rescue have made multiple attempt, by helicopter and by foot, to reach the stranded climbers, but so far to no avail. Bruno, Olivier's brother (and himself a guide) has made an attempt with an Italian Frontier Police team from the Boccalatte hut, but the avalanche risk at the moment is too high. There's been one late afternoon flights attempts from Aosta, to try drop food and gas provisions, but visibility was so low that they had to return almost immediately.

Tomorrow the meteo forecast seems to give a brief lull in the storm by early morning, so let's keep fingers crossed.


This is now on the UKC news page.

Two climbers have been stranded in a storm on the Grandes Jorasses in the Mont Blanc range on the French/Italian border since Thursday the 3rd of November.

Mountain guide Olivier Sourzac, 47, and his client Charlotte Demetz, 44, successfully climbed the classic north face route of The Shroud, and made the summit, before being caught in a terrible storm.


UKC Secondary Edit:

Tragic News. Brief report now on the UKC News Page.
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