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British woman dies after 100m fall in French Alps
File photo of a rescue training session in the Alps. Five climbers have died in the last two days alone. Photo: AFP

British woman dies after 100m fall in French Alps

AFP/The Local · 14 Aug 2013, 15:46

Published: 14 Aug 2013 15:46 GMT+02:00

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A British woman has died after a fall while walking at high altitude in the French Alps, police said on Wednesday.

The 52-year-old woman, who was walking alone at the time, appeared to have lost her footing on a narrow path leading to the top of the Col de Vaurze in the Isere region of eastern France and fell around 100 metres (330 feet).

Her body was discovered by other walkers on Wednesday morning and they called the emergency services. The woman's identity was not immediately released with mountain rescue officers saying her name would not be released until her family had been informed.

A member of the Briançon Mountain rescue team told The Local the path from which the woman fell was considered a safe place to walk. 

"It's a clearly marked path used by lots of hikers. It's not dangerous," he said.
The mountain rescue team believe the woman probably fell after she left the marked path, but did not say why she might have deviated from the route.
"Her death comes just a day after four climbers were killed in separate climbing accidents in the French Alps.

Two Italian women, aged 37 and 41, were killed by an avalanche as their climbing party tried to summit Mont Blanc du Tacul in the Mont Blanc range.

The Italian climbers were swept away when a slab of snow came loose on the Face du Tacul early on Tuesday morning.

Later in the day two French climbers were found dead in a 20 metre-deep crevasse on the Roche de la Muzelle, at 3465 metres of altitude in the Ecrins massif.

Mountain rescue services in the Isere region said the couple, described as "amateur climbers", had left a refuge on Monday morning and appeared to have fallen into the crevasse on their descent from the summit.

The woman was identified as a 51-year-old from the southeastern French city of Chambery. No further details were provided about the man's identity.

Thousands of tourists flock to the French Alps annually for sports including mountain climbing and skiing, but every year some fall victim to accidents.

Mont Blanc, the highest peak in western Europe is considered one of the most dangerous mountains to climb but that does not stop around 20,000 attempting the summit each year. Around 500 make the top each day during the summer.


AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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