Saturday, June 28, 2014

Climber had to be airlifted off mountain after his boots were stolen

An unfortunate climber had to be rescued by helicopter 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) up on the slopes of Mont Blanc in the French Alps on Monday after a thief stole his walking boots.

Most of the time climbers who have to be airlifted off Europe's highest mountain have suffered a serious injury, but that wasn't the case for the unfortunate mountaineer.

The climber found himself within a few hundred metres of the summit of the famous Alpine peak, but was to forced to call in mountain rescue services because someone had stolen his walking boots, police have said. Mountain rescue authorities from Chamonix, on Mont Blanc, came to the man's aid as he was left helpless at the Gouter refuge.

"When we find people in that situation, we extract them by helicopter. We don't leave them in their socks. It's pretty dangerous," explained mountain rescue chief Jean-Baptiste Estachy. The Gouter refuge is on the route used by most climbers as they ascend Mont Blanc. The return requires several hours walking through snow down into the valley.

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