Stranded Climbers Killed On The Droites


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Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 4, 2013 - 11:09am PT
Copied from UKC. Sounds Rough.

Two stranded climbers have died on the Lagarde Couloir on the North Face of the Droites, Chamonix.
The climbers, reportedly Lithuanian, had been stuck on the route in poor weather since last Wednesday, staying 150m from the summit to shelter from the high winds.

The climbers, who had dug a snow hole, had been in touch with the rescue services in Chamonix via mobile phone, but the rescuers was unable to reach them due to poor weather and high winds.

One of the climbers reported that his partner had died on Friday.

A brief lull in the weather on Sunday allowed a helicopter to pass near to the route and the rescue team sighted the second climber outside of the snow hole and hanging on a rope. They were unable to reach the couloir but were convinced that both climbers had passed away.

The rescue services will attempt to retrieve the bodies when the weather clears.

North Face of the Droites.
Lagarde Couloir is the large right slanting feature on the left.
Credit: Sandy P. March 2006

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 4, 2013 - 11:38am PT

Sad event

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 4, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
Climbing content.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 4, 2013 - 03:23pm PT
My condolences to the loved ones. Alpinisim is a severe mistress whose seductive siren call is hard to resist......those who answer know that sometimes the ultimate price must be paid.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Feb 4, 2013 - 03:32pm PT
Always sad and sobering to hear. I try to forget that I play a game where one possible consequence is forfeiting my life. My heart goes out to the friends and family of the climbers.


Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
Feb 4, 2013 - 03:34pm PT
Arrrgh hard news. Condolences.
steve shea

Feb 4, 2013 - 04:58pm PT
There was big weather in the Massif last week. RIP

Sport climber
Feb 4, 2013 - 07:36pm PT

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:08pm PT

Two Lithuanian climbers are now confirmed dead after remaining stuck at the top of the Lagarde Couloir on the NE face of Les Droites in Chamonix. The two man team had been pinned down approximately 150m beneath the summit (at the base of the mixed difficulties) in the relative shelter of the couloir since Wednesday, but with winds reaching 120kmph and temperatures of below -20 degrees and near constant snow fall it was impossible to reach them. At 6am on Friday morning the PGHM in Chamonix received a text saying that the other climber had succumb to the cold and by Saturday the last climber had run out of gas which he was using to keep himself warm. Texting that Saturday at 15.30 that he had dug a snow hole and, apart from running out of gas, was doing well, it was not until yesterday (Sunday) that the clouds cleared enough for the PGHM to fly a helicopter near to the couloir. Unfortunately the visual sighting of the last climber confirmed that he had left the show hole and had somehow fallen, hanging from the end of the rope. They are unsure of what exactly happened and are waiting for the current weather system to settle down before retrieving the bodies from the couloir.

Trad climber
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:23pm PT
RIP guys

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Feb 4, 2013 - 08:33pm PT
Grim news indeed. All the best to family and friends.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Feb 4, 2013 - 09:10pm PT

My condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

Social climber
Feb 4, 2013 - 09:53pm PT
hey there, say, all...

very sad to hear this... :(
my prayers and condolences for their family and loved ones...
god bless, and help them through their pain...
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Feb 4, 2013 - 11:57pm PT
Having lost someone I love, my heart goes out to these climbers loved ones, family and friends. The pain of losing your loved one is intense and takes time to process. You all will be on my heart and in my prayers.

If I can say one thing......though they died so young, they passed into the heavenlies doing something they loved and were committed to. Too many spend so many empty hours on this planet.

We will honor their memory. lynne leichtfuss
Big Mike

Trad climber
Jun 11, 2014 - 10:51pm PT
Wow.. Spam bump...

Jun 11, 2014 - 11:15pm PT
now that is malicious
Todd Eastman

Bellingham, WA
Jun 11, 2014 - 11:24pm PT
Spammed but...

My partner and I were lucky many years ago the next valley over as the storm stayed at a distance while we finished out climb with injuries.

My heart goes out to their spirits!

Death to spammers, no virgins to them!

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 11, 2014 - 11:25pm PT
Is this a new spam ploy to bump a thread that people might not want deleted?



Social climber
I'm Lolli.
Jun 12, 2014 - 03:51am PT
So sad.
Bad Climber

Jun 12, 2014 - 06:06am PT
Oy, that's a tough way to go. Condolences to family and friends. A lot of people are hurting right now.

Good point about the forecasting, though. Still, we take risks, we go for it. Most of the time, we get away with it.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 13, 2014 - 08:42am PT
A terrible end for these two brave souls...My condolences to all friends and family.

Always tough when the piper takes it all.
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