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Dramatic overnight rescue on the Valley Blanche

Swedish man recovered after fall into 25m crevasse

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Ellie Mahoney | Chamonix Editor | Published: 4 May 2017


Dramatic overnight rescue on the Valley Blanche

A Swedish man is recovering in hospital in Sallanches after falling into a crevasse on the Valley Blanche on Tuesday afternoon.

The man was skiing with two friends when the accident happened at around 15:30.

Unfortunately conditions that afternoon were so bad that the helicopter was unable to be put to use. The Aiguille du Midi was closed for maintenance too, so a team of 6 rescuers and a doctor had to make their approach by first driving through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and then ski touring across from Helbronner on the Italian side of the mountain. 

By the time the rsecue team reached the man, his friends had managed to extract him from the crevasse, but since he was injured an unable to make the descent, the PGHM had to transport him by sleigh to the Requin refuge. They arrived at the refuge in the middle of the night, in extremely challenging conditions, with around 60cm of snow and almost zero visibility. 

Yesterday morning, they were all evacuated by helicopter, with the injured man flown to Sallanches hospital and his friends to the helicopter base in Les Bois. It appears that the man suffered a broken pelvis from the fall. We wish him a speedy recovery. 

Read the first-hand report from the PGHM (in French)