Mont Blanc’s Lethal Season Continues: Two Die On Classic Ski Route

After two recent tragedies on Mont Blanc, the mountain has now claimed another two lives.

A major serac fall occurred in the early hours of Wednesday, April 19, on the classic Grands Mulets ski route, the French publication Montagnes reported.

The accident occurred between 4 am and 5 am at the level of the Grand Plateau, above 3,300m. Two died and a third person was injured. Four more people were nearby but escaped harm, according to a tweet from the local prefecture.

With an estimated 40 people on the route at the time, local nonprofit La Chamoniard said the death toll could have been much worse.

But that’s small consolation for the families of those killed on the mountain in several notable incidents over the last two weeks.

Deadly season on an iconic peak

Six people died in an avalanche on April 9, including two mountain guides.

The victims were skiing down the Armancette Glacier below the southwest side of the Domes du Miage, a classic ski-mountaineering route on the Mont Blanc massif. Traditionally, it’s not too risky, but conditions on the mountain may be changing with the climate and increasing traffic.

A few days later, on April 13, another avalanche struck a group of four Italian climbers. Three of them died, according to local media. All were experienced mountaineers: One was a ski mountaineering champion and another, a ski instructor.

While training and experience can help climbers and skiers avoid some dangers, La Chamoniard noted that some hazards — like the seracs that killed the two Mont Blanc skiers this morning — are simply arbitrary.

“We remind climbers that the itinerary of the plateaus is highly exposed to the falls of seracs,” the climbing nonprofit wrote. “The only way to protect yourself from it is not to expose yourself to it.”

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.