Bad weather prevents search for Japanese climber on Mont Blanc

Bad weather prevents search for Japanese climber on Mont Blanc

Grenoble (France) (AFP) - Bad weather on Mont Blanc on Friday prevented efforts to locate a 35-year-old Japanese climber who has asked for help on his way down from the peak, the local rescue service said.

"There was no weather window this morning and there probably won't be today," an official told AFP.

The service posted an appeal on its Facebook page Thursday for help finding Hironobu Shimosawa, who set out on his own on Monday to scale western Europe's highest peak at 4,810 metres (15,781 feet).

No one has seen Shimosawa since Monday, according to the PGHM rescue service, which is based in the French Alpine town of Chamonix.

On Wednesday he sent an instant message over Facebook to a friend in Japan who in turn telephoned the PGHM saying Shimosawa was coming down from the summit but needed help.

The PGHM said he could have descended more than 1,000 metres since then.

PGHM head Patrice Ribes said Thursday that Shimosawa "could survive several days" providing he had found shelter and had enough water.