Shock in Italy: Two mountaineers frozen to death in the Alps

Shock in Italy: Two mountaineers frozen to death in the Alps

A new tragedy hits mountaineering in Italy after this weekend two young women lost their lives while climbing the Monte Rosa Alps, a mountain formation located in northern Italy that is visited by thousands of tourists every year, not only to perform mountaineering, but also for skiing.

The victims are two women, Martina Svilpo and Paola Viscardi, who had already made the crossing on other occasions, but this time they ran into a storm.

Martina Svilpo was 29 years old and hails from Crevoladossola, while Paola Viscardi, a 28-year-old teacher, lived in Trontano. Both had made several climbs to different peaks so they were lovers of mountaineering although they practiced it as a hobby, and had even already climbed Monte Rosa.

The Italians began the ascent with the expert Valerio Zolla, 27, the only survivor, who has serious hand injuries from the cold and is hospitalized in a clinic in Switzerland:

“In five minutes the weather changed and the storm blocked us at high altitude. I remember how cold, so cold, I took off my gloves to give them to one of the two girls. I did everything possible to help the rescuers,” declared Valerio Zoll.

The group got stuck due to a storm on Saturday shortly after 2 p.m. when it was 4,150 meters above sea level. Immediately, the mountaineers called the emergency number, but the rescuers could not approach the place by helicopter due to the strong winds, they also lost communication and then it was difficult for them to know the exact point where they were.

At 7:30 p.m. they were able to contact Zolla again, who gave more details of where they were trapped and there the Central Única del Soccorso decided to send a specialized rescue team of 17 people, although due to bad weather the experts were slow to reach the area.

“It was even difficult to breathe in the storm”, commented one of those who participated in the expedition.

Around 9:00 p.m. the rescue team arrived, but a few minutes later one of the women died because she could not bear the low temperatures.

The other was taken to a shelter 700 meters away where a doctor tried to save her but was unable to revive her. By midnight, the helicopter was finally able to land and Valerio Zolla was taken to a Swiss hospital.

Ben Oakley
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