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Mont Blanc Climbers Rescued by Text Message

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Two climbers who were trapped on one of Europe's highest mountains by bad weather were surprisingly able to make an emergency call to a friend using their mobile phone. Finn McCann and Tom Greenwood spent the night in their sleeping bags 11,000ft up the Italian side of Mont Blanc in the Alps after being trapped by a storm last week.

Despite the weather, they had continued the ascent, planning to spend the night on the mountain and return in the morning, but worsening weather and a repeatedly dislocating shoulder in one of the climbers started to panic them.

An emergency number programmed into their phone didn't work, but they were able to get enough signal to send a text message to a friend back in the UK. The friend was then able to alert the emergency services who sent up a rescue helicopter, although it took three attempts to rescue the climbers due to the high winds.

Oscar Taiola, head of the Alpine rescue team, described weather conditions, which had been predicted, as a real mess. He added: "They would have been better to stay at the base camp."

On the web: Herald Scotland

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Tags: sms  text message  emergency  planning  Italy