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Night rescue on the Matterhorn (Photo: Martin Lehner)

18. August 2022

Night rescue by Air Zermatt on the Matterhorn

Air Zermatt, in cooperation with the Zermatt rescue station, evacuated two Polish alpinists on the Matterhorn in the early hours of Thursday morning. The two climbers had sent out a call for help on Wednesday evening. However, due to fog, a rescue was neither possible on foot nor by helicopter. It was not until Thursday morning that the rescuers managed to evacuate the two climbers.

Two mountaineers from Poland climbed the Matterhorn on Wednesday. On their descent from the summit, the two took a wrong route at an altitude of around 3600 metres and were blocked in the face of the Matterhorn. Around 8 p.m., the two alpinists were heard calling loudly for help. They also made an emergency call by telephone. However, a rescue by helicopter was not possible due to the heavy fog on the Matterhorn. A rescue by a rescuer on foot was also unsuccessful due to impassable terrain. Therefore, the alpinists had to spend the cold night on the Matterhorn in snowfall.

At around 04.00 in the morning, one of the two alpinists made another emergency call, saying that his colleague was no longer moving and had frozen to death. Due to the weather, it was not until around 05.00 a.m. that an Air Zermatt rescue crew and two rescue specialists were finally able to take off for the Matterhorn. During the search flight, only one of the two alpinists was found at first. The latter informed the rescuers that his colleague above him was in urgent need of help. Hiding under a rocky outcrop, the rescue crew found the second alpinist. The Polish alpinists were evacuated from the Matterhorn and flown to the helicopter base in Zermatt. Both alpinists escaped unhurt and ultimately without frostbite.

Due to the weather, the rescue could only be carried out on Thursday in the early morning hours. (Photo: Martin Lehner)

The rescuers on their approach to the Hörnlihütte. (Photo: Martin Lehner)

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