Search ends for Japanese climber missing on Mont Blanc

Grenoble (France) (AFP) –


Rescuers called off their search Sunday for a Japanese climber who went missing on Mont Blanc, a day after a Czech mountaineer died while descending Europe's highest peak.

No one had seen Hironobu Shimosawa, 35, since Monday, after he set out on his own to scale the 4,810-metre (15,780-feet) summit.

The PGHM rescue service, based in the French Alpine town of Chamonix, said Shimosawa had contacted a friend via Facebook on Wednesday asking for help.

Search efforts using mountaineers and helicopters were hampered by bad weather.

Despite relatively warm temperatures during the day, the peak remains treacherous even in the height of summer.

A Korean climber was found dead on the mountain on August 2, a week after two Germans froze to death on its slopes after being caught in a snow storm.

PGHM said Saturday that they had located the body of the 42-year-old Czech mountaineer who had fallen to his death.