A father and his two children narrowly escaped disaster on top of western Europe’s highest peak.
Paul Sweeney was climbing a section of Mont Blanc in the French Alps that's nicknamed "the corridor of death" with his two children when a sudden avalanche started to pull both 11-year-old Shannon and 9-year-old P.J. down the mountain. In video of the climb the children let out a quick shout before they start to slide.
“I heard P.J. scream first, and then Shannon scream and all I could think of was I have to bury my ice ax and I have to create a good anchor,” Paul Sweeney told ABC News. “I felt like an antelope being ripped down by a lion being ripped down by the waist.”
Both children were tethered to their father, an experienced climber who was the last line of defense against falling down the mountain. He was able to stop the family from falling and other climbers in the area came to the children’s rescue.
“I was sort of stuck cause Shannon and I were on each other, so it was hard to get up at first,” P.J. Sweeney said of getting back on his feet after falling.
The family had wanted to set the world record for the youngest climbers to reach the dangerous peak, nicknamed “the White Killer.”
While no one was harmed in the fall, the family decided to descend to safer ground instead of reaching the summit.
P.J. told ABC News he’s eager to get back on the mountain, although Shannon said she thinks she’d rather wait another year.