A British woman has died after she fell into a crevasse on a Swiss glacier earlier today (THU 1 Aug).
Swiss police said that the 58-year-old Alpinist died after falling into the Allalin Glacier, which at six kilometres (3.7m) long as the largest glacier supplying the Saaser Vispa river.
The woman had been connected to a second person by a rope and were heading to the 4190 metre Strahlhorn mountain when the accident happened at 4.30 in the morning. The pair had reportedly set off at 3am from the Britannia Hut, which was founded by British climbers at the turn-of-the-last-century, and remains popular with Brits to this day. They had been ascending for 90 minutes when tragedy struck.
Swiss police said that the woman had stepped on to a so-called snow bridge, which is a thin covering of ice and snow over a crevasse, and she fell into the glacier below.
It is unclear what happened to the second person but it appears only the woman fell into the glacier despite the fact they were roped together. It is also confirmed that the British climber, who was not named, was dead by the time her body was recovered from the crevasse.
At the time they were on the glacier 2970 metres above sea level. Police confirmed that the woman was from the United Kingdom and Swiss prosecutors are investigating the circumstances surrounding her death.
The glacier is located in the Pennine Alps near the Allalinhorn in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.
The Britannia Hut where the pair had been staying before setting off is located south of Saas-Almagell in the canton of Valais at a height of 3,030 metres above sea level, and is at the foot of the Allalinhorn mountain near the Allalin Glacier.
It is a starting point for the ascents of Strahlhorn, Rimpfischhorn and Allalinhorn peaks and was first in use in 1912 when the keys to the hut were handed over from the Vice President of the Association of British Members of the Swiss Alpine Club (ABMSAC) to the Swiss Alpine Club.
The building of the hut was funded by contributions from British members of climbing clubs and was given to the Swiss Alpine Club (Geneva Section) in gratitude for the hospitality received by British climbers by other Swiss huts in the Alpine region.
The hut was completely renovated in 1997 and celebrated its centenary in 2012 and to this day still has strong ties with British mountaineering groups.
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