I'm looking for a bit of clarification on a detail mentioned in a news report here, since usually Chamonix.net reports are pretty accurate. It states that the unfortunate climber who passed away didn't have a shoulder harness (I'm guessing they meant chest harness?), and that the lack of this harness caused constriction and suffocation in the crevasse fall.
A chest harness will let you stay upright during a fall, but if the person is properly roped up and in a well-fitting harness, they can't really get suffocated from just hanging -- unless the mountaineers/kiwi coil is improperly tied and causes constriction.
Any thoughts on what might have happened here, and what they're referring to?
You can tell the english translation is poor but it sounds like his kiwi coil wasn't tied properly and when he fell into the crevasse the rope just boa constricted up and suffocated him. The way I read the article regardless of shoulder harness (chest harness?) or shoulder harness (standard climbing harness?) the end result is the same he had coils around his upper torso that were not tied off properly and that's always a bad thing.
Sad because it really bothers me to read about such preventable accidents & deaths. I come across too many people that have a limited skillset and need to work on their mountain craft skills in low consequence terrain.