A mountain guide who was injured in Thursday's deadly avalanche in the French Alps has described the ordeal in a French media interview published Friday.
Daniel Rossetto, 63, was accompanying two Danish climbers when the avalanche struck on Mont Maudit (Cursed Mountain), one of three routes used by people trying to summit Mont Blanc.
"We were following an old route, with no accumulation of snow. There was no danger," he told Le Parisien newspaper from his hospital bed, where he was being treated for a dislocated shoulder.
He neither heard nor saw the avalanche trigger in the pre-dawn dark.
It made no noise, "just a puff of wind," he said.
"I felt the snow land on me. We tried to resist but it pushed us to the bottom of the slope, about 250 metres from where we had been," he said.
"It was like being in a washing machine."
His two clients also escaped with minor injuries. They were lucky, he said, to have been caught by the edge of the avalanche.
The nine killed in the disaster - three from Germany, three from Britain, two from Spain and one from Switzerland - were trapped under masses of snow.
The alert was raised quickly but rescue helicopters found it difficult to access them because of strong winds, Rossetto said.
The guide said he was shocked when he learned that nine people had been killed.
"The mountain takes no prisoners," he said.
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