Portsmouth man cheats death after attempting to scale Mont Blanc without climbing gear

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A Portsmouth man cheated death after attempting to scale Mont Blanc without climbing gear.

Feda Hussein, 26, was found by Italy's Aosta Valley Mountain Rescue on Sunday morning after attempting to tackle western Europe's highest mountain without proper equipment to celebrate his birthday.

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He was found on the Bionnassay glacier after calling for help the previous evening, the Mailonline reported.

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Chamonix, French Alps. Picture: OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE/AFP via Getty Images.Chamonix, French Alps. Picture: OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE/AFP via Getty Images.
Chamonix, French Alps. Picture: OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE/AFP via Getty Images.

The graduate aerospace engineer became lost amid stormy conditions and got into difficulty at an elevation of 3100 metres (10,170ft) on the Italian side of the mountain range.

Rescuers were unable to locate him on Saturday night due to the poor weather.

When a rescue team spotted him from a helicopter and made it to his position the next day they found Hussein wearing only hiking boots, a tracksuit while being draped in a sheet.

He was found with his body temperature at 25 degrees C - a full 10 degrees lower than the hypothermia threshold and three degrees lower than the 'death zone' of 28 - but somehow clung to life and was transported to Aosta's Parini hospital, the paper reported.

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'I wanted to climb Mt Blanc,' the climber was quoted as saying by Italian daily Corriere Della Sera.

'I left on Friday from Val Veny to complete the ascent of the Italian normal route to Mont Blanc which passes through the Gonella refuge.'

'I lost my way to the Gonella... I was not very far, but in that situation it was impossible to reach it. I had to stop and tried to take cover.'

He called a rescue team for help in the late hours of Saturday evening but conditions were so bad that they couldn't locate him.

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Rescuers lost communication with him after he was last heard 'exhausted but conscious,' according to Italy's Rai News.

A mountain rescue official, quoted by the Mailonline, said: 'His body temperature when he was found was 25c and the normal is 37c, he was about five minutes from dying and was lucky to have been found.

'He was suffering from severe hypothermia and flown immediately to hospital where the doctors started working on getting his body temperature back to normal.

'The man said he was trying to climb to Mt Blanc but the forecast was bad and he wasn't dressed at all correctly for such an expedition – we advise against climbing at this time of year because of the weather.

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'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.

'Climbing to an altitude of 4,800m is serious business and it should only be attempted by experienced climbers who are well prepared and well equipped.

'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.'

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