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6 missing on Mont Blanc peak at height of Alpine climbing season

The Mont Blanc rescue service says six climbers are missing on a peak of the Alpine mountain, and search helicopters are flying over the area.

August is the height of the climbing season on Europe's tallest mountain, where even in the warmest months fierce snowstorms can strike quickly. Several mountaineers have died already this summer, and local officials say they fear people are coming to Mont Blanc ill-prepared for the dangers.

The rescue service, based in the city of Chamonix, says the six disappeared early Wednesday morning as they were trying to reach the Aiguille d'Argentiere, which tops out around 3,900 meters (12,800 feet). Mont Blanc, in addition to its primary peak, contains some 200 summits.