Two climbers spend the night hanging from their harness after getting stuck on a rock face outside

Two climbers were stuck on a rock wall in Savoie, France, last Sunday. Due to bad weather, emergency services were unable to rescue the young men in their 20s that same evening. As a result, they spent the night hanging from seat belts and were not released until Monday morning. “We couldn’t keep warm,” says one climber.

Two young climbers, aged 20 and 24, hung on the wall of the French Croix des Têtes in Saint-Julien-Mont-Denis (Savoy) last Sunday. Due to bad weather conditions, emergency services were unable to rescue the couple immediately, forcing them to spend the night on the rock wall.

Matteo and his friend Cédric hit the road on Sunday morning. “It was cold all day, and the wind was strong, which slowed down our speed. Moreover, we did not take the time change into account (…) When night fell, it was impossible to go any further.”

When they found it impossible to turn back, the young men in their 20s stopped on a flat, sloping area in the middle of the vertical cliffs and called emergency services.

Blankets for the night

Rescuers made several attempts to rescue them, but to no avail. “The wind prevented the helicopter from getting close enough to the rock wall,” Matteo continues. “In the end we got a bag with blankets, hot drinks and gloves so we could spend the night.”

The frigid night was a real test for the 20-somethings. “We had our safety belts on, and our feet were stuck to the wall. We tried to keep our survival blankets with us, but the wind was so strong that we couldn’t stay warm,” he added.

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It was not until early in the morning, around 8 am, that they were finally rescued. The climbers admitted that they had made “many mistakes”, expressed their regret for not taking more precautions and stressed the “exceptional work” done by the rescue team.

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Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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