"TETE BLANCHE" Room 25
I associate a very special memory with the Tête Blanche (3724m), because without the events around this mountain in spring 2000, I might never have met my husband Richard.
The Patrouille des Glaciers, the world's largest and highest ski mountaineering race, was about to take place and some participants were training around this area. All fourteen ski mountaineers, a group of 12 and a team of 2, who were on this training tour found themselves in precarious situation of emergency that day.
I was working at the Valais Rescue Center in Sierre (144) at that time. I received a call from the 2-persons team. Nicola and Daniel were exhausted and emotionally at their wits' end.
The weather had changed and a foehn storm in the area of the Tête Blanche did not allow them to move a meter. Everything around them was white: fog, snow and storm. Orientation was no longer possible. Moreover, they had prepared for nice weather, their equipment and the material was too light. I begged them to: "Stay where you are! Dig a hole where you can protect yourselves from wind and cold! Wait there for rescue!" I organized an Air Zermatt rescue team, which immediately set off. However, the helicopter could not get directly to Nicola and Daniel because of the storm. The mountain rescuers, consisting of two teams of two guides, were dropped off above the Schönbielhütte and continued by foot.
During the rescue, I had radio contact with the mountain guide Richard Lehner, one of the four rescuers, as well as a connection with Nicola and Daniel. It was the first time I spoke to my future husband. Who could have guessed it?...