Trio of ski instructors brave frozen Alpine peak to rescue missing dogs

A trio of British ski instructors braved avalanches and frozen mountain peaks to rescue a pair of missing dogs.

The dogs, Mika and Mungo, had been missing for three weeks after running into woodland in the Alps near Morzine, France, where they were staying with their owners for the ski season.

A number of search parties had been organised for the pooches, who were rescued by a British couple when they were living as strays in the Bahamas.

But despite local efforts, wannabe rescuers were forced to give up hope 10 days after their disappearance when a snowstorm moved in.

But when ex-pat Leanne Garner heard howling a few weeks later during a hike in a remote area, she asked for help and when French authorities said it was too dangerous, three ski instructors came to her aid instead.

British ski instructors Cameron Skinner and brothers Marc and George Walton scaled a frozen peak to rescue dogs Mika and Mungo (Picture: SWNS)

Cameron Skinner and brothers Marc and George Walton braved threats of avalanches to climb a frozen peak to rescue the dogs - bringing them back down the mountain to be reunited with their owners.

Cameron, from PDS Academy ski school, said: "When I found out that the missing dogs might be alive, I leapt at the opportunity to try to rescue them.

"I hadn't even known they were missing, but because they had been heard howling, even though it was almost three weeks later, I knew there was hope.

"I rang my friends and they were up for it as well - we got all the gear we needed and headed up the mountain.


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The 28-year-old, originally from Croydon, south London, added: "We all specialise in ski touring and off piste skiing, so we are highly trained.

"We knew the snow was deep and there might have been an avalanche at any moment.

"There were three eagles circling at the top of a cliff, which made us think that was where the dogs were, and that they were alive.

"When we got closer, we could hear the dogs barking too - it was echoing around the mountain, but with the eagles as well, we knew where to climb."

The trio have been given a bravery award for their brave rescue (Picture: SWNS)

George, 25, and his 26-year-old brother Marc, from Ascot, Berkshire, run Peak Snowsports in the resort town.

The trio were kitted out with ice axes, crampons and an avalanche probe - as well as a transceiver to help rescuers find them if they got buried in snow.

Cameron stayed at the foot of the cliff to keep watch as George and Marc climbed the sheer cliff to the trees where the dogs were sheltering.

George said they found Mike first at the top of a cliff then also managed to find Mungo.

The trio then managed to make it home down the mountain in pitch black more than four hours after they set off.

The dogs, who had survived 17 days together on the mountain, were treated to lots of food and cuddles when they were reunited with their family.

Leanne said: "It's amazing the bravery and courage Cameron, George and Marc showed to go and rescue them, and it's astonishing the dogs survived.

"It is fantastic what they did for a stranger - I didn't really know them before, but when they showed up to go on the hike, with all the gear, I could tell they had a lot of knowledge and confidence.

"The dogs were absolutely over the moon when they were reunited with their owners. It was so emotional.

"And to think - those Caribbean dogs managed to survive almost three weeks in the frozen French Alps."

The trio were given an annual award for recognition from the town as thanks for their efforts bringing the dogs home on April 7.