A group of close to 30 climbers were hit by an avalanche on one of the most popular routes up the French Alps, killing six climbers and leaving several more missing. The avalanche struck near the ski resort of Chamonix around 5:30 a.m. local time, surprising two climbing teams on the face Mont Maudit. The climbers were ascending one of most common routes on the way to the peak of Mont Blac, which is the highest peak in the range, and it's believed that many of the climbers were roped together in groups. Rescue teams continue to search the mountain for survivors, though the AFP news agency says it may already be one of the deadliest accidents to hit the region in several years.

Update: Sky News says the death toll has been raised to nine, with several climbers still missing.