The accident occurred on Wednesday, September 20, at the famous “Himmelsleiter” tourist site (“Stairway to Heaven”) in the Dachstein Mountains in Austria, which connects Zwieselm with Grosser Donnerkogel, at an altitude of 2,054 meters above sea level.
The 40-metre-long “Stairway to Heaven” is one of the most famous photographic motifs of mountaineers around the world. The Briton wanted to climb the Via Ferrata Intersport, but at the end of the narrow stairs, on the top of the Dachstein Mountains, he lost his balance and fell a hundred metres. The other climbers watched helplessly.
Two rescue helicopters and Alpine police officers from Hallein and Abtenau were sent to the site, but the tourist could not be saved. The Briton’s body was recovered from a deep abyss below the Via Ferrata. A police spokesman said: “According to the results of the investigation, it is clear that this is an accident.”. Since the route is so popular, even inexperienced climbers often attempt to reach the summit.
Christian Egger, head of operations for the mountain rescue service in Gosau, said with concern:
“The Via Ferrata is very crowded. If you fly over it in a helicopter, you will see a human chain like on Mount Everest. Sometimes people have no idea what they are getting into.”
The climb is rated as moderate to difficult, “but not recommended for beginners.” Dachstein is one of 24 mountain ranges in the northern Limestone Alps.
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