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Trapped climber's Mont Blanc SOS

A British climber rescued from a tiny ledge on western Europe's highest mountain after calling a friend described the "nerve-wracking" moment he realised his mobile phone battery was running out.

Finn McCann and fellow climber Tom Greenwood were stuck 3,500 metres up on Mont Blanc in Italy for 21 hours before they were saved on Thursday.

When the 23-year-olds realised they could not ascend or descend, the pair attempted to contact mountain rescue teams but could not get through so had to call a friend in the UK who co-ordinated teams to save them.

"We have got our friend to thank for the whole rescue really," Mr McCann told Sky News.

"We got stranded on this ledge and the only thing we could do was call mountain rescue. We had all the numbers programmed into our phone so we were ready for any eventuality.

"We were prepared to call up the Italian mountain rescue or the French. We were just appalled when we called the numbers and found out that neither worked.

"At this stage we were very low on battery and signal so with what little battery we had left we realised we had to quickly communicate with someone. We had to resort to calling Chris back home who took it upon himself to organise the whole rescue for us."

Because of the weather the pair could not be rescued and had to spend the night on the small ledge. They are now relaxing at a campsite.

They are believed to have got into difficulty after a storm broke on the mountain on Wednesday afternoon.

Two initial attempts to rescue them failed but they were eventually picked up by a helicopter and taken to nearby Courmayeur, at the foot of Mont Blanc, the mountain rescue team said.


From Belfast Telegraph