Four hikers die in Swiss Alps

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Police said a 72-year-old Swiss woman, a 56-year-old French woman, and a 43-year-old Italian woman remained in hospital on Tuesday.

They were caught off-guard by high winds, snows and cold and were forced to spend the night outdoors, according to a police spokesman.

Two Italian couples aged in their mid-40s and mid-50s died from hypothermia after being evacuated to hospital and their 59-year-old Italian guide died at the scene after a fall, police in Valais canton said.

A vast rescue operation, including seven helicopters, was launched in the area early on Monday before the hikers were found.

Police in canton Valais said five other ski hikers were still in a serious condition.

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Several of the rescued climbers were suffering from hypothermia and were rushed to the hospital. They planned to follow the Serpentine classic route to the Vignettes mountain cabin where they meant to spend the night.

But they became stranded in the awful snowstorm and were forced to spend the night outside, something which they are not thought to have been properly equipped for.

On Tuesday, officials said all the victims' families have been notified.

It is thought they left a mountain cabin at a height of 9,606 feet and attempted to take a popular route called "la Serpentine" to another mountain cabin at 10,357 feet.

Separately, authorities found the bodies of two more climbers further east in the mountain chain on Monday. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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