Filed under:News, Aiguille du Midi, chamonix, Eugster corridor, Fall, PGHM
On Sunday 31 March, the PGHM of Chamonix rescued three alpinists by helicopter after they fell 600m down the Eugster corridor on the north face of the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix.
In spite of falling several hundred metres, bouncing off rock and snow the entire way down, the three miraculously survived; it is reported that they sustained only minor injuries.
Masha Gordon, who holds the record for fastest female to complete the Explorers’ Grand Slam (the Seven Summits and both poles), was also on the north face of the Midi and witnessed the fall.
In a Facebook post she describes the fall: “While roping up, we started to notice light spindrift rolling over a gulley’s lip… ‘Hmmm, odd’… the air was still… ‘May be another party on the route’. In a moment spindrift intensified with small pebbles shooting through air like sniper bullets. Big hurling rocks followed. We moved for cover a few meters to the left. I have instinctively turned my face away from a fountain of cold snow… ‘We are done here’, I shouted assuming that the route had loose rock and was unsafe for an ascent.”
Luckily, her climbing partner saw the climbers fall and so they called for a rescue, while also descending to help the climbers, surprised to see that they were still alive. Several rescuers from the PGHM arrived shortly afterwards and transported the climbers to hospital – two were taken to Sallanches, and one was brought to Annecy.