A man had to be rescued from Mont Blanc after he got stuck without the proper equipment.
Feda Hussein, from Portsmouth, was celebrating his birthday on Saturday (1 October) and thought the hike would be a perfect way to mark the occasion.
However, while climbers put a lot of time and effort into preparing for such a treacherous route, the 26-year-old attempted it while wearing a tracksuit and a pair of hiking boots.
Just for context, Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Western Europe, so not to be taken lightly.
After getting trapped, Feda phoned for help, but had to spend the night in sub zero temperatures, and was reportedly ‘five minutes’ from dying when the rescue team got to him.
But despite the terrifying ordeal, Feda is adamant that he was not under prepared.
He told the Mail: “I got lost and the weather turned which made things worse for me.
“I did have the right gear, I had crampons, a harness and rope with me, it’s just when they found me all my gear was covered with snow. It’s all still up there, I’d taken my crampons off so I could get in my sleeping bag.
“I will admit it was pretty scary up there – at one point I thought I had died. I remember I called the rescue teams around 5pm to say I was in trouble and they said I had to stay put as the weather was too bad for them to pick me up.
“We stayed in touch for a few hours and then I remember calling and saying, ‘Don’t worry, I’m going to die in a minute’, and then I blacked out. The next thing I remember is waking up in hospital.
“They told me my body temperature had dropped to 25C and that I was five minutes from dying when they found me.
“I couldn’t feel my fingers and hypothermia had set in when I was up there but somehow I managed to survive and I know I have been very lucky.”
The route along the Bionnassay glacier is described as a ‘serious snow and ice climb’, and is only recommended between June and August, when the weather is good.
But having done a bit of climbing in the past, Feda said he thought he would be up to the task, though he has since admitted that ‘maybe it wasn’t such a good idea’.
He said: “I’m just glad the rescuers found me when they did and I’m grateful to them – I really thought I was going to die as my body felt really weird but they brought me back from the brink. I was definitely on my way out when they found me.”
When they found Feda, rescuers said they were amazed he was still alive, having come dressed as though he was going for a ‘Sunday stroll’.
In a statement, they said it was considering sending Feda a bill for €1,500 to cover the cost of the rescue mission.
They said: “When he called to say he was lost he said he would be OK as he had a weatherproof tent but it was more of a tarpaulin and all he had was hiking sticks.
“Because of the weather conditions we couldn’t send out a team until the following morning so we had to tell him to stay put and try and find some shelter.
“At one point we couldn’t raise him on the telephone and there was a real fear he had died but he was fortunate that we found him, five more minutes and he would have been dead.”
Photo Credit: Pixabay