A Lithuanian mountaineer in his 40s died on Tuesday afternoon in Haute-Savoie, after unscrewing and falling in the Mont Blanc Massif, AFP learned Wednesday from the relief mountain.
The man was 3,300 meters above sea level with two other mountaineers, a man and a woman of the same nationality whose age was not specified, when the accident occurred, shortly before 17:30, while the trio was not roped.
Death on the move
The group was rappelling down the eastern edge of the Pyramid of Tacul, a summit of the Mont Blanc massif culminating at 3,400 m altitude and "without major difficulty", said the High Mounted Gendarmerie Squad (PGHM) of Chamonix, who performed the rescue. According to the first elements of the investigation, the two men would have unscrewed for an undetermined reason at the end of the descent, "when setting foot on the Giant glacier," said the PGHM.
The victim fell about forty meters into a hole in the glacier, dying instantly. The second mountaineer involved in the fall suffered minor injuries and was taken to the Sallanches hospital. The third mountaineer is unscathed. The rescue ended at dusk because of bad weather conditions on the massif.
An investigation, entrusted to the PGHM of Chamonix, was opened to specify the circumstances of the accident.