Dramatic survival course in the Mont-Blanc massif (Haute-Savoie).

Two young women in their thirties and from Isère died in an avalanche late Saturday afternoon, we learned Sunday from the Bonneville prosecutor's office (Haute-Savoie).

The two victims were taking part in a survival course with five other young women and an experienced mountain guide.

The group had decided to build an igloo to spend the night, "in an apparently safe place", near the Cosmiques refuge, Bonneville prosecutor Karline Bouisset told AFP.

This refuge, located at 3,613 m on the Col du Midi glacier, in the Mont-Blanc massif, is presented as the largest and the second highest in France.

An expert in snow science named

But an avalanche took away, around 5:30 p.m., five of the seven young women.

Three of them, who were sheltered in the igloo, were saved.

The other two, who were outside, died.

A snow expert has been appointed to determine the circumstances of this avalanche, which occurred while the neighboring department of Savoie had been placed on orange avalanche vigilance since Friday.

This vigilance was lifted on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Given the weather conditions, the Chamonix PGHM helicopter could not be activated, and the rescue services intervened by the Aiguille du Midi cable car, then by ski touring, said Karline Bouisset.

The magistrate, who went there, underlined "the solidarity" shown in particular by the couple of guardians of the Cosmiques refuge, and other people present.

The investigation to find the causes of death was entrusted to the PGHM and the Chamonix gendarmerie company.

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  • Miscellaneous facts

  • Mont Blanc

  • Avalanche

  • Accident

  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes