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Police call off search for American hiker missing on Mont Blanc

Scott Putnam was reported missing on Tuesday, August 31, and police say that if he is still on the mountain it is ‘almost certain that he is dead’

Image of the snow-capped peaks of Mont Blanc

Scott Putnam was reported missing on Tuesday, August 31 Pic: Dew scienartist / Shutterstock

Police have stopped the search for a mountain climber who was reported missing on Mont Blanc around Tuesday, August 29. 

Scott Putnam – who had already ascended Mont Blanc 16 times – was last seen at the Tête Rousse refuge at 3,165m, where he slept overnight from Saturday, August 28 to Sunday, August 29. 

Mr Putnam is a US citizen, of athletic build, 1.80m tall, with brown hair. He is said to also be a father of three. 

A spokesperson for the mountain rescue team, Peloton de gendarmerie de haute montagne de Chamonix Mont-blanc (PGHM) told The Connexion today that they had ceased their search operations on the ground. 

An image of Scott Putnam released by the Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne de Chamonix Mont-blanc (PGHM) on Tuesday, August 31

“The search involved an immense area of land which is particularly exposed and glacial,” he said. 

“This brings with it various hazards such as crevasses, and we cannot keep sending our teams out to search with all these risk factors at play.

“[Mr Putnam’s] disappearance happened over a week ago now, so if he is still on the mountain it is almost certain that he is dead.

“A series of digital investigations have now begun,” making use of online bank statements and phone records. 

“We can also take DNA samples from [Mr Putnam’s] possessions. Almost every year we find a body on the mountain, and it is thanks to these DNA traces that we are able to identify them.” 

Anyone with any information regarding Mr Putnam’s disappearance is invited to call the Chamonix PGHM on 04 50 53 16 89.

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