Stranded Climbers Killed on Droites North Face

© Sandy P
Two stranded climbers have died on the Lagarde Couloir on the North Face of the Droites, Chamonix.

North Face - Les Droites  © Sandy P
The north face of the Droites. The Lagarde Couloir is the large rightward slanting line on the left. © Sandy P, Mar 2006

Climbing the large Lagarde Couloir on the NE face of the Droites  © basvdploeg
Climbing the large Lagarde Couloir on the NE face of the Droites
© basvdploeg, Mar 2011
The climbers, reportedly Lithuanian, had been stuck on the route in poor weather since last Wednesday, staying 150m from the summit to shelter from the high winds.

The climbers, who had dug a snow hole, had been in touch with the rescue services in Chamonix via mobile phone, but the rescuers was unable to reach them due to poor weather and high winds.

One of the climbers reported that his partner had died on Friday.

A brief lull in the weather on Sunday allowed a helicopter to pass near to the route and the rescue team sighted the second climber outside of the snow hole and hanging on a rope. They were unable to reach the couloir but were convinced that both climbers had passed away.

The rescue services will attempt to retrieve the bodies when the weather clears.

N.B. The photos are from the UKC galleries, and not related to current conditions or this accident.


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4 Feb, 2013
Sad to hear this. Is the weather set to improve soon?
4 Feb, 2013
Very sad story. The PGHM tried literally to perform some miracle to reach them.
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