A British man who was rescued from Mont Blanc has denied claims that he attempted to reach the summit wearing only a tracksuit and hiking boots. Feda Hussein, from Portsmouth, was aiming to reach the summit to celebrate his 26th birthday, but ended up calling emergency services after becoming injured and suffering hypothermia.
Reports in the Italian press, later repeated by British papers and websites, claimed that Hussein had made his attempt at the summit without proper clothing and equipment, but he denied this. “I was fully prepared,” he said. “I had wet weather gear, an ice axe, crampons and ropes. My backpack weighed 25kg.”
As The Telegraph (opens in new tab) (paywall) reports, Hussein became lost on his second day of hiking and fell down a crevasse, injuring his leg. He managed to use his axe and crampons to climb out, but could go no further and climbed into his tent for shelter while he called emergency services.
“Alpine rescue said that because of the bad weather they wouldn’t be able to reach me until the morning," he said. "It was snowing hard, really windy. I told them I don’t think I’ll survive that long, that I’m going to die, but that they shouldn’t worry because it was not their fault."
He was rescued on Sunday suffering from severe hypothermia, and spent two days in intensive care, though he hopes to make a full recovery,
Climbing Mont Blanc safely
The peak time for climbing Mont Blanc is generally regarded as between June and September, when weather is likely to be mild and huts are open along the route. By October, the days are shorter and weather conditions less predictable.
According to the British Mountaineering Council (opens in new tab), it's important to hire a guide if you're in any doubt about your ability before tackling the mountain due to dangers includes seracs, crevasses, and rockfall.
"The easiest route, the Gouter, is not technical, but you do need some mountaineering skills and equipment," say Chamonix-based mountain guides Will Sim and Stuart MacDonald.
"You need to be able to front-point and traverse in crampons in 45-degree snow territory. You also need to be experienced at using an ice axe on snow slopes. If not climbing with a guide, you also need to bring your own equipment and skills for travelling safely on a glacier, and for rescuing your partner/s from a crevasse. For all other routes you need even more experience and skills."
In August, the mayor of Saint-Gervais, a town at the foot of Mont Blanc, which serves as a base for many expeditions, suggested that climbers should have to pay a deposit of €15,000 to cover the cost of rescuing and possibly burying them before they began their ascent.
"Sometimes silly people only respond to silly ideas,” Peillex told The Telegraph (opens in new tab). "It’s like these people think they are going to Disneyland or on the London Eye."
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).
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