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5 climbers killed in fall on Mont Blanc peak

By The Associated Press

This article was published August 13, 2014 at 9:45 a.m.

PARIS — Five French climbers died in a fall on France's Mont Blanc, officials said Wednesday, after a night of snow and wind on Western Europe's tallest mountain. A sixth climber was spotted at the bottom of a crevasse.

August is the height of the climbing season on Mont Blanc, where even in the warmest months storms can strike quickly. High winds buffeted the area where the group fell, said Jean-Baptiste Estachy, head of the Mont Blanc rescue squad.

Estachy said five bodies were found Wednesday morning. The sixth climber, who was missing, was apparently spotted at the foot of a crevasse and recovery efforts were underway.

"We don't know what the condition is other than that the person is unconscious," Estachy said.

The climbers were taking part in a two-week mountaineering course with the guide and were reported missing overnight when they failed to return to a refuge. They had been on a planned trip to the Aiguille d'Argentiere, which tops out around 12,800 feet.

Read Thursday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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