Rescuers find missing South Korean climber dead on Mont Blanc

A mountain climber from South Korea has been found dead on Mont Blanc, Western Europe's highest mountain, rescuers have said.

Rescuers find missing South Korean climber dead on Mont Blanc
File photo: Rescue workers on Mont Blanc
The body of the man, 34, who had been missing since Sunday, was found on Wednesday afternoon at an altitude of 4,300m on the mountain in the French Alps. 
It wasn't until three days after the man went missing that a helicopter search – which led to the discovery of the body – could take place, due to heavy winds in the area. 
After cross-checking the descriptions of his 41-year-old climbing partner, also from South Korea, and photos of their itinerary, rescuers were able to find their temporary camp or “bivouac” where the body was found in a hole in the snow. 

Ashley Coates/Flickr
Rescue workers had already said on Tuesday that there was “very little chance” of finding the climber alive due to the unfortunate but necessary delay in sending out a helicopter.
The two friends left the Cosmiques refuge hut on Sunday and were caught in the bad weather which put them behind schedule. 
While the victim had said that he was too tired to continue, the survivor, after trying and failing to motivate his friend, left him in the shelter while he climbed the pass to escape the wind, rescuers explained to the French press
Talking of the survivor, a rescuer said: “When he called, I told him to turn around but he stayed out there the whole night and we found him in the same spot. He has amazing stamina.” 
The rescuer went on to add that the state of the victim at that point in their itinerary suggests he was suffering from the altitude and wasn't physically prepared for the challenge. 
There is currently no obligation to use a guide to climb Mont Blanc, which attracts climbers from all over the world.


Mountaineer dies on Europe’s Mont Blanc despite rescue attempts

A French mountaineer died close to the summit of Mont Blanc on Friday after rescuers made several attempts to get to him in a violent storm.

Mountaineer dies on Europe's Mont Blanc despite rescue attempts
A picture taken from a helicopter on August 7th, 2020 shows the Planpincieux glacier of the Grandes Jorasses, on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif, with the Courmayeur village in the background, Val Ferret, northwestern Italy.  Andrea BERNARDI / AFP

The man, in his forties, was climbing Europe’s highest peak when he lost his way and got stuck at 4,800 metres (15,700 feet), assailed by “the storm, the wind, the cold,” rescuer André-Vianney Espinasse told AFP.

He called for help on Thursday evening.

Several helicopters attempted to rescue him but couldn’t get to him due to the weather, Espinasse said.

As a result, one helicopter dropped rescuers off lower down, at 3,200 metres, forcing them to climb the rest of the way at night.

At two in the morning, after reaching a refuge and waiting for the weather to ease, they climbed further into heavy winds.

They found the man some two hours later, suffering from severe hypothermia.

But “at 5.30, in awful winds, the mountaineer suffered a cardiac arrest,” said Espinasse.

A fresh attempt by a helicopter to lift the victim off the mountain failed once again due to the high winds.

The rescuers then decided to leave the body and get out of “this extremely dangerous area”.

A rescue helicopter from neighbouring Italy eventually managed to lift the body off the mountain.

“Going solo on high mountains should really be avoided due to all the dangers involved,” Espinasse said.

Mont Blanc is between the regions of Aosta Valley in Italy and Savoie and Haute-Savoie in France