Air Zermatt rescues four climbers on the Matterhorn
Air Zermatt evacuated four people from the Matterhorn on Friday morning in an elaborate rescue operation. Exhausted, the climbers had already sent out an emergency call on Thursday evening. However, strong winds made a quick rescue impossible. After a night on the mountain, the climbers were finally flown out of the Matterhorn on Friday morning.
On Thursday evening, Air Zermatt received a emergency call that four people were exhausted and in distress on the Matterhorn. The rescue crew that was sent out was able to locate the four mountain walkers, one teenager and three adults, at the Krawatte near the Italian border, but the evacuation had to be aborted after several attempts due to strong wind gusts.
On Friday morning, Air Zermatt rescuers continued the evacuation. A rescue specialist could be dropped near the four alpinists, but an evacuation of the mountain climbers was out of the question due to strong winds. Rescue attempts with two different and powerful helicopters were unsuccessful. Not least because the helicopter's rope was blown away by the winds.
Finally, a 100-metre rope was stabilised on the helicopter with a 50-kilogram sack and flown to the exhausted mountain climbers. Together with the rescue specialist, the Air Zermatt crew successfully rescued the four climbers on the Matterhorn. They were exhausted but uninjured.
Fatal mountain accident at the Dent Blanche
On Thursday, Air Zermatt was called to another emergency in the mountains. Two mountaineers were climbing from the Schönbiel hut over the challenging route of the Viereselsgrat towards Dent Blanche. At an altitude of about 4000 metres, the first climber fell about 30 metres into the rope. His rope partner immediately made an emergency call. The rescue operation by Air Zermatt was hampered by fog and wind. Only after several evacuation attempts did the air rescuers reach the accident site. There they could only ascertain the death of the alpinist. The survivor was flown to the hospital in Visp with shock and mild hypothermia.
Increased rescue missions
Air Zermatt has registered an increase in missions in the mountains in recent days. The crews of the Upper Valais air rescue team are increasingly being called out for rescues in the mountains or for crevasse operations.