Rescue on the Weissmies during strong storm winds
On Monday morning, two alpinists and a female alpinist fell about 120 meters into the depth on the mountain tour on the Weissmies. The rescue operation proved to be extremely challenging due to the strong storm winds and thunderstorms. Despite these adverse conditions, several Air Zermatt rescue crews and nine rescue specialists were deployed to provide assistance.
Despite an unfavourable weather forecast and a heavy storm, three climbers set off early on Tuesday morning along the normal route to the summit of the Weissmies. At around 09:00, Air Zermatt was alerted that the three climbers had fallen about 120 meters. One climber was still able to make the emergency call. One person was already unresponsive at the time, while the other two were injured.
Two Air Zermatt helicopters immediately headed towards the accident site, accompanied by rescue specialists from Zermatt and the Saas Valley. However, due to the strong storm and several thunderstorm cells, it was impossible for the rescuers to reach the accident victims from the air, despite numerous attempts. As a result, seven rescue specialists, together with an emergency doctor, set off on foot to the scene of the accident.
Towards the beginning of the afternoon, another call was received that a second person was now also unconscious. In the meantime, the emergency physician and the rescue specialists reached the accident site on foot. After first aid on site, the rescuers took advantage of the short weather window in which a flight was possible. Finally, despite gusts of more than 100 kilometers per hour, the Air Zermatt helicopters were able to fly the emergency physician and the crashed persons away from the accident site, while the rescue specialists descended on foot.
In total, three Air Zermatt helicopters and nine rescue specialists from Zermatt, the Saas Valley and Visperterminen were involved in the rescue operation.
The injured persons were flown to the hospital in Sion with a body temperature of 23 and 25 degrees respectively. One person died at the scene of the accident.