Haute Route Chamonix-Zermatt, data collected by the Alpine Guides
The report of the facts03 May 2018
Haute Route Chamonix-Zermatt, data collected on the facts of the tragedy.
Press release by the Italian Alpine Guides
We report below the reconstruction of the incident that took place in recent days on the Haute Route Chamonix - Zermatt where the Lombard mountain guide Mario Castiglioni and some of his clients lost their lives. The Collegio Nazioneale e Guide Alpine Italiane, which is in constant contact with the Valais Alpine Rescue (Switzerland) and the Valais Police (Switzerland), has collected the following verified and verified data.
The group led by Mario Castiglioni started from the Cabane des Dix as scheduled and on schedule for a smooth running of the tour. Snow conditions and weather forecasts made it possible to complete the route.
The forecasts spoke of a worsening weather, but still compatible with the time needed to cover the stage that usually takes about 6 hours of travel. Up to about 9.30 the weather was good with excellent visibility, as evidenced by the photos taken by some ski mountaineers then overwhelmed in the tragedy: within a few minutes a very violent storm took over (temperatures far below zero and winds above 100 km per hour).
The group of Mario Castiglioni, from the program, would have to spend the night at the Rifugio Nacamuli, located on Italian soil and farther than the Cabane des Vignettes: for both refuges the route coincides up to the floor below the slopes on which the group stopped.
Near the group of Mario Castiglioni there was also a group of French ski mountaineers, a few meters away from them. They stopped on a ridge of rocks at 3280 meters, near a large stone man that is a reference point of the route from Cabane des Vignettes to the Pigne d'Arolla. There he found the Swiss Alpine Rescue.
Mario Castiglioni was found below the rest of the group: he was the first to die in the tragedy, we do not know if it was for the cold or for a fall or for both reasons.
The group was perfectly equipped for the itinerary from the point of view of the equipment, the Mountain Guide had with it all the necessary devices for safety, GPS, satellite phone and smartphone with Swiss map.