Ömer Sami was making his way through a pile of rocky debris on the Leschaux glacier in Haute-Savoie when he noticed a small, seemingly innocuous plastic card under his foot this Friday, October 28, 2022. This waste accidentally forgotten in the natural park regional des Bauges was none other than a blue card, silent witness to a tragic accident that occurred in the mid-1990s. “It was almost intact. At first I thought it showed how plastic does not does not break down and pollutes the mountain, testifies the mountaineer of Dutch origin in the columns of Parisian. I simply thought that its owner had lost it on the glacier years ago. It aroused my curiosity. So I wanted to track him down by posting a picture of his credit card on Facebook.” Ömer Sami’s investigation would be facilitated by crucial information on which time had not taken hold.

The photo broadcast on social networks makes it possible to clearly identify the identity of the owner of the Crédit Lyonnais card: Andries Jurgen. The young member of a Belgian alpine club had disappeared at the age of 21 during the ascent. Tragically disappeared at the age of 21 during the ascent of the famous north face of the Grandes Jorasses, a “magnificent and gigantic wall, one of the most beautiful and severe in the Alps” according to François Labande in his guide La Chaîne of Mont Blanc (1987). Ömer Sami was able to count on the help of sleuths to document this dramatic news item that occurred on July 28, 1995. At the time, an article in the Dauphiné Libéré revealed that rockfalls had caused the death of three Belgian mountaineers from shipment. “I was far from imagining that I was going to revive bad memories in the valley”, confides the Dutch tourist who wanted to send the young man’s credit card to his family.

Why we should expect more earth-shattering glacier discoveries in the coming years

Accessing Mont Blanc is becoming an increasingly perilous ordeal as we record the consequences of a drastic climate change. Crevasses and falling rocks now pave the way to the summit of the “Roof of Europe”. In a survey published by Le Parisien this summer, Olivier Grébert, president of the Compagnie des guides de Chamonix, noted that only a “dozen or twenty people a day, rather specialists” now make their way to the high peaks. , “against 100 to 120 people in normal times”. We point to scattered snowfalls during the winter, exposing vast portions of glaciers, sometimes themselves covered with sand from the Sahara. Then comes a summer thaw, an ordeal for the snow bridges essential for crossing the crevasses. Budding mountaineers have nevertheless responded to the call of the mountains by the thousands this summer in Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc. A success to qualify when we know that tourists have given up any plan of ascent, an enterprise that has become too risky for some, when others have simply canceled their stay in Haute-Savoie.

A mountaineer makes a shocking discovery by chance

The shocking discovery of a mountaineer © Pixabay

Maria T.
Maria T.

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