The bodies of three climbers, including a Polish-British woman, buried in an avalanche of ice and snow on the Mont Blanc massif have been found and dug out from the thick ice.
The Polish-British woman, a Slovakian woman and their German guide were climbing Mont Blanc's Mont Maudit at 4,100 metres (13,450ft) when a tower of ice swept over them early on Tuesday and they fell 150 metres (500ft) to their deaths, said the mountain rescue team chief in the French town of Chamonix.
The women's bodies were found on Wednesday evening and the guide's early on Thursday, Lieutenant Colonel Stephane Bozon said.
Rescue workers had to use chainsaws and a backhoe to free them from the ice.
The rescue effort was delayed because other climbers said there were no victims, Lt Col Bozon said.