“In the mountains, people are unconscious.
Thursday evening, a group of nine people, including three children aged 8, 14 and 15, found themselves stranded in the Infernet canyon, located in the Chartreuse massif (Isère), while they were canyoning.
“We were alerted around 10 pm,” says Major Ali Krim, head of the local unit of the CRS Alpes de Grenoble.
The group could not progress any more because of the force of the current of the water which was out of the ordinary.
Seven rescuers from the units of L'Alpe-d'Huez and Grenoble were mobilized.
On the spot, the Mountain CRS first had to go up the Infernet to join the group which was stuck almost at the end of the canyoning course.
“When the canyon allows it, we come by helicopter, it is much faster, assures the unit chief, but in the middle of the night and in a very deep canyon like this one, it is infeasible.
After the nine people were found, rescuers fitted them with harnesses and ropes.
An intervention of nearly three hours
“The emergency devices put in place are handrails and zip lines,” explains the police officer, “this allows individuals to be towed or to move forward by leaning on fixed ropes.
Despite the strength of the current, the whole group was able to reach the end of the canyoning course and be brought to safety.
The intervention ended around 1:30 a.m.
“The members of the group were mildly hypothermic but everyone is safe.
In # Isère, the #CRSMontagne carried out a rescue mission where 9️⃣ people, including 3️⃣ children, were stranded in the #Canyon de l'Infernet, located in the #Chartreuse massif.
- National Police (@PoliceNationale) July 23, 2021
The Infernet is a canyon at the bottom of which a watercourse is almost 100 m deep.
Jumps, slides, descent of waterfalls, abseiling along rock walls… The course consists of multiple obstacles to overcome.
Of the nine people rescued, only one of them had some canyoning skills “but no more than that, nuance Ali Krim.
The others were rather novices and for some, it was even their first canyon ”.
"They didn't even have a headlamp"
But the group did not seek the supervision of a professional and began late in this exercise. “They started the course around 4 pm without the proper equipment, they didn't even have a headlamp. They got caught by the night and the current. However, the CRS Alpes had communicated this Wednesday vigilance instructions and security measures to be adopted for this type of activity, such as the need to be aware of the weather, not to embark on too dangerous routes and to call on professional supervisors.
The police officer is worried that similar situations are repeated frequently in the mountains this summer: "There is extraordinary risk taking at the moment". According to him, individuals often embark late on long and sometimes technical routes, without the proper physical condition and equipment. "It's a social phenomenon that is linked to what we see on social networks, analyzes Major Krim, we want to do the same as the stars of a discipline, such as climbing or canyoning, but we do not they don't come close to them. "
Two days ago, the CRS Alpes de Grenoble rescued two people trapped at an altitude of 2,500 m. “They were in t-shirts and sneakers, with only two small gourds. They do not realize the dramatic consequences there could be. “About ten days earlier, three people had perished in the Isère mountains.