A hiker discovered the bodies of six mountain climbers in France's Hautes-Alpes region today, the apparent victims of an accident yesterday. Mountain police based in Briancon said the bodies were discovered in a steep corridor at 8,858 feet, a day after the climbers left an overnight Alpine refuge. Police said the group apparently was headed, on two ropes, for a point at 11,857 feet in the Massif des Ecrins. The bodies were brought to a nearby village by helicopter for identification.
"It is assumed that there was an avalanche of snow and stones," the mayor of that village tells CNN, while French police cite "a broken snow bridge, a fall, or an avalanche" as possibilities.