Crevasse drop in the Vallee Blanche…

Midi lift stationA few weeks ago, it was a blue sky, powder day in Chamonix and three of my friends decided to ski the Grand Envers route on the Vallee Blanche.

All extremely good skiers, I waved them off and thought nothing of it, until another friend phoned me, asking if I knew where they were as mountain rescue had been calling her. ( She works with one of the boys who had turned his phone on divert.

Well, the last text I had said they were “just putting their crampons on at the top of the Midi,” I told her…… hmmmmm, I carried on with my day, not thinking much of it, until my texts where not getting replied to and another diverted call from mountain rescue.

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I phoned another of the boys but still no answer. Mildly panicked I tried to phone around…but assumed that the fact that mountain rescue had been calling meant they should have been ok if something had happened.

A few hours later I managed to get hold of them coming down on the Montenvers railway, heading straight for the first pub and a stiff pint. Apparently one of them, Matt, had skied into a crevasse! When mountain rescue heard he wasn’t injured, they left it to the others to get him out….. hence the phone calls to find out what the situation was.

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Needless to say we all went out that night and celebrated hard that he was still alive. It could have been so much worse. Anyway, the guys are now signing up to crevasse rescue courses… and I took the opportunity to share their experience, and hopefully inspire more people to educate themselves about travelling on glaciers safely by passing the story onto the British Mountaineering Council.

You can read more about the incident here and see the footage- miraculously recorded on one of their go pro’s- on BMC TV.

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