Nepal mountain search finds French body

Nepalese rescuers have found the body of a missing French climber in a crevasse on Mount Manaslu a week after an avalanche killed him and at least eight other mountaineers, the expedition organiser said Thursday.

Nepal mountain search finds French body
Photo: Ilker Ender

Another French mountaineer and a Canadian are still missing and presumed dead after their group was hit by a wall of snow near the 8,156 metre (26,759 foot) Himalayan peak early on September 23rd.

"A team of seven sherpas discovered the dead body of Remy Lecluse on Sunday," Ishwari Paudel, the managing director of Himalayan Guide, told AFP.

"His body was swept about 600 metres from the Camp Three. The sherpas pulled it out from a crevasse."

An experienced skier, the 48-year-old Lecluse had carried out more than 500 extreme descents in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes and elsewhere.

Paudel said the body arrived in Kathmandu on Wednesday and was handed over to the French embassy there.

Eight people were found dead in the immediate aftermath of the snowslide — four French, a Spaniard, a German, an Italian and a Nepali guide.

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Dad’s ‘miracle escape’ after being buried by avalanche in French Alps

A man out walking with his family in the French Alps has made a miraculous escape from an avalanche after spending more than two and a half hours trapped under snow, rescuers said.

Dad's 'miracle escape' after being buried by avalanche in French Alps
Ski lifts in France are closed, but visitors and locals are free to enjoy other outdoor sports. Photo: AFP

The 50-year-old father was snowshoeing near the high-altitude Val d'Isere ski resort with his wife and two children on Thursday without anti-avalanche safety equipment.

“Thank to the mobilisation of nearly 100 people… the man was found alive after two hours and 40 minutes of searching,” the police for the local Savoie département announced on Twitter.

Because of the depth of the snow, rescue dogs were unable to detect a trace, but the man was eventually dug out by a specialised mountain police team which used a Wolfhound device to locate his mobile phone under the ice.

“I think it's a miracle,” Alexandre Grether from the PGHM rescue team told the France 3 local news channel, adding that the man was found 2.5 metres (eight feet) below the surface.

The chances of survival after more than 20 minutes in an avalanche are usually slim.

“He was protected by a tree, that's what prevented him from being crushed by all the ice that slid down. The snow had surrounded him, but he had a pocket of air,” he explained.

The victim is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a fracture to his hip.

The avalanche risk on Thursday was at its maximum – five on a scale of five – and rescuers urge people to always check the snow conditions before venturing out.

READ ALSO 'Whole season a write-off' – what next for France's ski resorts?

Ski lifts in the Alps, which have seen some of their heaviest snowfalls in years in January, are currently closed because of restrictions imposed by the government to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Visitors and locals are free to enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing, but occupancy levels in hotels and chalets are way down and business owners and seasonal staff face serious hardships.

The government has promised an economic support package for the sector.