/ another alpine accident (Aiguille du Midi)

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Doug on 18 Aug 2014

Several reports in the French press of an accident on the Aiguille du Midi.
e.g.
http://www.europe1.fr/Faits-divers/Mont-Blanc-3-nouveaux-morts-dans-une-chute-de-800-metres-2204605/...

Seems a guide plus 2 clients fell when heading for the refuge des Cosmiques (possibly a cornice collapse)

(spelling edited)
Post edited at 18:05
highclimber - on 18 Aug 2014
In reply to Doug:

Sad times. trying to imagine which part of the cosmiques this might be.
Alexandre Buisse - on 18 Aug 2014
In reply to highclimber:

It's not on cosmiques, it's on the midi ridge, right as you exit the top station.
GridNorth - on 18 Aug 2014
In reply to Doug:

What I find surprising and perhaps of particular concern are the number of incidents involving Guides.
goatee - on 18 Aug 2014
In reply to Alexandre Buisse:

More tragic news. That ridge is a real eye opener and not one to be taken lightly. There is no guarantee that a guide could hold a slip by one or both of his charges on such a narrow spot. RIP
highclimber - on 18 Aug 2014
In reply to Alexandre Buisse:

I read it as the ridge that connects the midi to the Refuge de Cosmiques.
batterj2 - on 18 Aug 2014
In reply to Doug:

Sad day. Did the ridge leading down into Vallee Blanche on the same morning - very powdery snow, nearly slipped off when the snow underfoot kept on collapsing.
lowersharpnose - on 18 Aug 2014
In reply to highclimber:

I read it as the Cosmiques Ridge too.
balmybaldwin - on 18 Aug 2014
In reply to Doug:

I have a friend out there at the moment... just hoping she's using her head
Ken_Chamonix - on 18 Aug 2014
In reply to Doug:
Excerpt from Le Dauphiné (8/17):
"Les gendarmes ont trouvé les corps dimanche après-midi au pied de la face nord de l’Aiguille du Midi (3 842 mètres). «Ils ont vraisemblablement dévissé depuis l’arête qu’il faut emprunter pour rejoindre le refuge des Cosmiques», a précisé le PGHM. «La chute de plus de 800 mètres ne leur a laissé aucune chance. Elle remonte au 15 août en fin d’après-midi». 
Les trois victimes avaient pour projet d’effectuer la traversée de la Vallée Blanche après une nuit au refuge des Cosmiques (3.613 mètres). «Des investigations sont encore en cours pour déterminer les causes de la chute. Il est possible qu’une corniche de neige ait cédé sous les pas de la cordée empêchant le guide de retenir ses clients», précise le PGHM."

It's got to be the North-East ridge...
Post edited at 21:23
Nigel Modern on 19 Aug 2014
In reply to batterj2:
Yes, watch the Midi ridge. I nearly came a cropper there a few years ago as the snow on the north side was powder. I partially stepped off the track to allow someone to come up carrying a massive rucsac...they appeared panicked and to be planning to power on up even though I started the steep, narrow section first. Ice axe held on the consolidated snow of the track.
Post edited at 11:10
batterj2 - on 19 Aug 2014
In reply to Nigel Modern:

Made for some nice headcam footage though :) Trying to find a decent connection to upload to YouTube.
drunken monkey - on 19 Aug 2014
atrendall - on 19 Aug 2014
In reply to batterj2:

So 3 people died and your main worry is finding a decent connection to upload to YouTube???
Have some respect.
Doug on 19 Aug 2014
In reply to drunken monkey:

that suggests they fell on the north face, all the French accounts I've seen or heard suggest they fell from the arête used to access the Vallée Blanche & the Ref. des Cosmiques
ByEek - on 19 Aug 2014
In reply to GridNorth:

> What I find surprising and perhaps of particular concern are the number of incidents involving Guides.

I think that is a little unfair and I don't think you can make any correlation. It is a bit like saying that all cancer victims ate oranges therefore oranges give you cancer.

There is a nice saying about guiding. It goes:

Your client is trying to kill himself
Your client is trying to kill your other clients
Your client is trying to kill you

The fact there are so few accidents given the number of successful trips is probably more telling.
ads.ukclimbing.com
danm - on 19 Aug 2014
In reply to ByEek:

Bang on. Consider going alpine climbing day in, day out with partners of questionable competence and then take a guess on what your shelf life would be. Passing the Guides test is hard work and with good reason.

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