UK & World News
Father And Son Killed In Alps Hiking Trip Named
A British father and his 12-year-old son who died while hiking in the Alps have been named by the Foreign Office.
Peter and Charlie Saunders were killed on a walking trip in the Chamonix valley in France after flying there for a short weekend adventure, the FCO said in a statement issued on behalf of their family.
Mr Saunders tumbled to his death as he tried to search for his son who had fallen 300 metres, French police believe.
"Charlie was always full of life, had a really happy temperament and loved spending time with his father. Peter was fantastic at making things happen, resourceful, with a positive approach to life. They will both be sorely missed by friends and family alike," it said.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the French rescue services for all their efforts."
Rescue services in Chamonix were called by 48-year-old Mr Saunders at 2pm local time on Saturday.
He apparently said his son had fallen into a crevasse near Mont Blanc and that they were lost.
Captain Patrice Ribes, a French police officer, told Sky News that emergency services tried to trace the mobile phone call and launched a rescue mission.
But the rescuers lost contact and had to launch their search with little information about the pair's location.
A helicopter eventually spotted their bodies on Sunday morning at an altitude of 1,600m.
Capt Ribes said: "We think the father tried to find his son after he called us and asked for rescue. We believe he fell as he tried to find his son. Their bodies were found together this morning at 7.40am."
The father and son, reportedly from Buckinghamshire, had ventured into the Glacier des Bossons area of the Mont Blanc mountain range.
Capt Ribes said they had inadequate equipment and were exploring a "dangerous, deep, snowy" mountain trail.
Richard Mansfield, a mountain guide who has worked in the area for 20 years and lives near the Bossons glacier, said: "I don't know exactly where the accident happened but all the trails on the north side of the valley are covered in snow at the moment.
"The footpaths usually don't get that many people out at this time of year because they are much more difficult to navigate, although yesterday was a beautiful sunny day."
Mr Mansfield described a "number of footpaths which weave in and out of indentures in the mountainside" and this "is where they may have slipped off".
The valley, which boasts five ski resorts, receives a lot of British tourists throughout the year, with many owning holiday homes in the area.
According to reports, no less than 10 off-piste skiers and mountaineers had already been killed in the area this month.
what do you think?
should not have been there , put rescuers lives at risk , no sympathy
Idiot Learn some manners
Well, he was a bit blunt, but he's right.
how is he right a father and son go on an adventure life is for living not like they went to the Himalayas
You probably wanted to know if the horse was okay and not the jockey in the race last week when there was a bad fall. Let me tell you something about life it is for having some fun it was an accident and a kid died so crawl back under your stone
Dave I agree blunt but a 12 year old on a mountain like that. Not the most sensible thing to do
Again we have the thumbs down brigade out without explaining why. Do you think it is ok to take a 12 year old in a mountain like that in those conditions and not be properly equipped.
Come on 6 of you explain.
diana the truth is the truth, we kinda all know it deep down but, their are some instances in life if you have nothing nice to say, don't say it
I'm not one of the 6 you've asked to explain - but, given that we are all prone to silly mistakes and that many 12 year olds are pretty capable individuals, it does seem rather harsh to be writing teh father off as some kind of callous idiot. Setting that to one side this is a tragedy for the family involved and baic human decency dictates that we don't start hurling insults at the dead - especially where their surviving loved ones may read it. Hope that might explain why some people don't like what you've written.
Mark. I see what you are getting at but come on. We have 3 children all adults, we love climbing but would not even attempt Snowdon in bad weather even with all the correct equipment and our children are 31, 29, and 25. I do have sympathy.
How about some thought for wife and mother - she's got to live with this tragic event
You are fully entitled to your opinion, however...now is not the time, is it?
Very sad news. No they probably shouldn't have been there with inadequate equipment,but that does not mean it's ok to be horrible! The mountain rescue teams are trained for this sort of thing. Putting their own lives at risk is something they choose to do in an attempt to save others. A young lad has dies for goodness sake,no need to be harsh
Don't go into the Mountains without the proper kit, esp when your child is with you. Mother Nature can be very unforgiving. RIP.
"inadequate equipment" is just a way of saying they came across the unexpected. If I'm walking and get hit on the head by a bit of a plane that fell off as it passed overhead then I have inadequate equipment because I'm in the street with no hard hat. It was something I would not have been anticipating. Similarly these people probably went out with adequate equipment then got lost and ended up in an area where their equipment wasn't "adequate". No point in blaming them. It's life and it happens like this.
Sorry one look would have told the dad what equipment was needed.
I agree with you 100% emerald. You can be the best mountaineer on the plane,trained at the edmund hillary school of hill climbing and have all the kit money can buy. As soon as you put one foot onto mountain your at its and mother natures mercy. This is something ive been witness to in the scottish highlands. Blazing hot sunshine one minute gale force winds and lashing rain the next. Ive seen my own folks and sister
.....younger sister struggle up mt temple in new zealand only to see two 70year olds practically sprint passed. My folks are regular walkers and my dad was a trained mountain rescue volunteer both in their 50s and my sister was 20 at the time and did ALevel PE till 18. So it just goes to show you could be extremely fit and experienced the mountain is the boss not you
Such a sad piece of news. May they both rest in peace together.X
Have some respect drouin
A tragic waste of life, that's for sure, perhaps if they had been adequately equipped, it wouldn't have happened, I have never understood the need people have to take risks, life is so very precious, but...each to their own, I suppose R.I.P
Life is risk, Julie. Driving is a risk - you might get hit by something, the brakes might fail, the road might be slick when you need grip. Crossing the road, you could get hit by a drunk driver. Walking along the sidewalk you could get attacked by somebody lurking in the shadows. When you cook, you could have an towel in your hand and it slips off just as you touch something hot. Everything is a risk.
Your right, emerald, such a great shame things like this happen..
Well none of us know the actual facts and circumstances and that poor father & son are not here to defend themselves or explain what went wrong so instead of sumizing have some respect ... RIP both x
A little respect and empathy goes a long way whether you agree they should have been there or not.what is happening to plain decency.rip to both father and son.
Thank you - you've almost restored my faith in humanity!