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Avalanche kills 3 mountain climbers; among them one of the most experienced in Greece

The three mountain climbers who had gone missing near the town of Kalavryta in Peloponnese were found dead Sunday afternoon, the fire service reported. The three bodies were found near the Kalavryta ski resort. Efforts were underway to recover the bodies and transfer them to a morgue for autopsy.

According to the ski resort of Kalavryta and local media, the three men aged 49-56 were swept away by an avalanche, some 2 km away from Water of Styx on Chelmos Mountain.

The experience climbers started on Saturday morning to climb Mt. Chelmos. They left on foot from the area of Kalavryta ski resort. Their goal was to approach the icy waterfall and to reach the icy slope from the Black Lake area and then climb the icy waterfall, ending their day back at the ski resort.

“It is worth noting that these are some of the most experienced climbers in the country who have been repeatedly in the area to complete the specific route,” the ski resort said on a post on Facebook.

It was the resort staff that they noticed that their car was still in the parking lot on Saturday evening and set authorities on alert.

Attempts to reach them at the cellphone number  they had provided were fruitless, authorities said.

The first Search and Rescue operation was carried out by members of the resort security team, however, without success.
Early Sunday morning members of the Fire Service and its Rescue unit EMAK, of  the police as well as Greek mountain guides and experienced ski climbers launched an organized SAR.
Sunday noon, helicopters of the fire service and the rescue unit spotted a helmet and a jacket in the slope of the Waters of Styx and concentrated the SAR in that area. Search teams initially found two of the climbers, a bit later also the third one. All three were dead.

All three men were residents of the city of Patras in NW Peloponnese.
On of the victims was reportedly Giannis Torelli, 56, one of the most experienced climbers in the country and instructor for ice climbing.
The other two a pharmacist and the third was working at a public service.
sources: SkiResortKalavryta, kalavrytanews.gr, ERT TV and others

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