Hypothermic Brit rescued on Mont Blanc while ‘dressed for a Sunday walk’

A Briton had to be rescued from Mont Blanc after attempting to climb one of Europe’s highest mountains in inappropriate clothing.

The man, believed to be in his 20s, said he wanted to do the hike to celebrate his birthday.

He was found close to death by the Italian rescue service in the Aosta Valley on Sunday morning after calling for help the night before.

His body temperature was reportedly 25 C, 10 C below the threshold for hypothermia.

mountain rescue officials said Mail Online that Mr Hussain was “dressed as if he had gone out for a Sunday walk”.

He was wearing hiking boots, hiking clothes and dressed in a sheet when found by rescuers, rather than thick mountaineering clothing.

Mont Blanc is 4,809 meters high and has the highest mortality rate of any mountain in Europe.

Rescuers tried to reach the Briton in difficult weather conditions

(AFP via Getty Images)

The man had managed to raise the alarm by calling the Alpine Rescue of the Aosta Valley after he got stuck on the Bionnassay glacier at an altitude of 3,100 meters on Saturday afternoon.

A rescue mission was attempted from land on Saturday but was unsuccessful due to difficult weather conditions.

He was rushed to the Parini hospital emergency room in Aosta by helicopter in a serious condition.

“The man was equipped as a hiker and did not have equipment and clothing suitable to proceed on the glacier,” rescuers told local media.

He is now recovering in hospital and spoke to the local press from his bed in the intensive care unit.

“I wanted to climb Mont Blanc,” he said. “I left on Friday from Val Veny to complete the ascent of the Italian normal route to Mont Blanc that goes through the Gonella refuge.”

He didn’t have crampons or ice axes, which are necessary for progress on the glacier, and he was also hiking a route that is now very discouraged due to huge crevasses.

“I spent the night between Friday and Saturday in a tent on the Miage Glacier. The next day I continued my journey,” he said.

Mont Blanc mountain seen from Finhaut, Switzerland


He described how conditions on the mountain had worsened by Saturday afternoon.

“It was snowing and the wind was very strong. I lost my way to Gonella so I decided to go back to the Durier lodge. I wasn’t too far away, but in this state it was impossible to reach. I had to stop and tried to hide.”

Mountain rescue officials were surprised to discover the man was a British hiker after initially thinking he might be a migrant desperately trying to take a mountain route to bypass border controls.

“His body temperature when he was found was 25 degrees Celsius and normal is 37 degrees Celsius, he was about five minutes before he died and he was lucky to be found,” said a rescue worker. Mail Online.

The hiker was five minutes away from death

(AFP via Getty Images)

“He was suffering from severe hypothermia and was immediately flown to hospital where doctors began working to bring his body temperature back to normal.

“When he called to say he was lost, he said he would be fine as he had a waterproof tent, but it was more of a tarp and all he had were walking sticks.”

The official said it is expensive to send rescue teams to the mountain and “we are considering sending a €1,500 bill for the rescue”.

“He was in an obvious state of hypothermia, exhausted,” said Paolo Comune, head of Alpine Rescue for the Aosta Valley.

“The mystery is how it got there, because there are holes and crevices before you get to that zone. No one who knows the dangers you face in this kind of terrain would go up there right now.”

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