Mountaineers missing after avalanche sweeps them into crevice

Monte Fitz Roy - Image 4K wonderland /

Two Basque mountaineers have been missing since Thursday in Patagonia on the border of Argentina and Chile.

Lugares de Nieve reported on Saturday, January 21 that a rescue operation has yet to get underway due to weather conditions in the area.

Authorities say with each passing hour the chance of finding them alive reduces with the pair some 3,405 metres above sea level where conditions are said to be very dangerous.

The pair, Iker Bilbao (29 years old, native of Durango) and Amaia Agirre (31 years old, from Urnieta) were believed to be descending. But minutes after arriving at the base of Fitz Roy an avalanche of snow buried them before dragging them to the bottom of a crevice.

The peak is understood not to be particularly high but conditions are “extremely difficult” because of the ice.

A third mountaineer Josu Linaza, 31 years old and from Igorre, raised the alarm after managing to save himself.

Sources within the Presidency of the Basque Government said that the Argentine rescue services had advised that abnormally high temperatures made conditions difficult for rescuers. The high temperatures they say could cause new avalanches at any time and put the lives of the rescue teams at risk.

Families and friends of the mountaineers missing are hopeful that they will have survived the avalanche and can still be rescued.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]