“This is really concerning” says Walter De Bruyne of the Mountain Sport Association Flemish Brabant. “I know Wouter as a good friend and member of our association” he told the daily Het Nieuwsblad. “He has tons of experience and it’s not unusual for him to trek through the mountains for several days. He’s strong both mentally and physically. The last contact dates from 16 August when he spoke to his mother from the French ski resort Isola 2000 to say he couldn’t be reached for a couple of days.”
Wouter planned a five-day trek ending at Barcelonnette. His parents sounded the alarm when he still hadn’t arrived on 22 August. “They couldn’t get in touch with him and he hadn’t called” says Walter.
Today Wouter should have been back for a fortnight. Wouter’s mobile phone is still working but callers get voicemail.
“If he had been held up, he would have informed his parents” says Walter. The family is very worried and so are we.”
French emergency services are looking for the Fleming on foot and using a helicopter. Leuven prosecutors have also been involved.