Death of man who fell 1,000ft from Mont Blanc was an 'accident' - Shropshire coroner

An adventurer who fell 1,000 feet to his death from Mont Blanc died as the result of an accident, an inquest heard.

An archive image of Mont Blanc.
An archive image of Mont Blanc.

Andrew Wilkinson, 45, was the founder of a Christian adventure charity called Dynamis Adventures, based in Herefordshire, who travelled to the mountain on September 5.

An inquest was held in Shropshire because Mr Wilkinson, who lived in Herefordshire, was brought back to a funeral director in Craven Arms.

Shropshire coroner John Ellery was told that on September 11, 2022, Mr Wilkinson was abseiling down the mountain, with his rope attached to a boulder. But the boulder gave way and he sadly fell and he died of 'multiple traumas'.

His body was retrieved and brought back to the UK, and to Shropshire.

A fast track inquest was held at Shirehall, in Shrewsbury, on Tuesday where Mr Ellery explained that the family, who weren't present, had no concerns and agreed to the shortened procedure.

Mr Ellery said: "The conclusion is one of accidental death."

Mr Wilkinson's adventure charity had posted on is website their "immense sadness" at the passing of "Wilki".

"Wilki was ascending Mont Blanc with his climbing partner, when the piece of rock he was attached to gave way. His climbing partner stayed on the mountain and was safely rescued early the following morning," the website said.

"At this time, all immediate operational activities at Dynamis have been suspended whilst the Trustees put together a plan of how to proceed with any ongoing services. We appreciate your patience at this time and will be in touch with a further update."

The website added that "Wilki loved people and the outdoors in equally massive measure, and formed the basis for the amazing work of Dynamis Adventures.

"His energy, experience, attitude and selfless approach to working with young people was infectious, and he gathered around him a group of wonderful volunteers and staff that gained as much as they gave out in working with him.

"However, Wilki loved his family and his God even more. His deep-rooted Christian faith was the rocket-fuel behind everything he did. His overflowing love and concern for his family, friends, his colleagues and young people stemmed from his love of Jesus, and the simple knowledge of a living God as his loving Father.

"The family respectfully ask for privacy at this time. A notice will be posted in due course when details of the funeral and thanksgiving service are known. We all grieve deeply this enormous loss, but we grieve not without hope, and thank God for a life fully lived. Please join us in praying for Sarah and girls at this time."

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