Many more foreign people have fatal accidents

In 2023, 3501 people got into an emergency in the Swiss Alps and the Jura and had to be rescued or rescued by mountain rescue - that is fewer than in the previous two years. 114 people died in classic mountain sports - that's slightly more than in 2022, but significantly fewer than in 2021.

In the winter of 2022/23, there was extremely little snow at lower altitudes in many regions of Switzerland. Accordingly, fewer snow sports enthusiasts were out and about, which can be seen from the mountain emergencies and mountain accidents. While mountain emergencies in the months January to April in 2023, with 778 people, are only slightly below the 5-year average (803 people), fatal accidents in the same period fell significantly with 27 victims (5-year average 38).

The SAC cabins recorded the best summer season in SAC history in 2023. The beautiful weather attracted many mountain sports enthusiasts to the mountains. This can be seen in mountain emergencies and fatal accidents - these have increased in the summer months. While there were 2095 mountain emergencies between June and September (5-year average 1957 people), 67 people had fatal accidents in the same period (5-year average 58).

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Mountain emergency statistics 2023 - Fatal mountain accidents, time course
Mountain emergency statistics 2023 – Fatal mountain accidents, time course

Fewer crevasse falls and more fatal accidents among foreigners

In the calendar year 2023, 3501 people got into an emergency - that is fewer than in the previous two years (2021=3680, 2022=3668). In mountain sports in the narrower sense [1], 103 people were killed in 114 accidents (2021=131, 2022=109).

While there were a record number of crevasse falls in 2022 (70), there were only 2023 in 29, significantly less than the average of the last ten years (41).

The proportion of foreign people in fatal accidents has never been as high in the last ten years as it was last year. It was 62% (71 people). The 10-year average is 38% (45 people).

Fatal accidents on high mountain tours have increased, while they have decreased on ski tours and off-piste descents.

Fatal mountain accidents, numbers identity

Mountain emergency statistics 2023: numbers and evaluations

The present figures and graphics are based on the operational data of the mountain rescue organizations REGA, the Alpine Rescue Switzerland ARS, the Cantonal Valais rescue organization KWRO, the Air-Glaciers Lauterbrunnen and other institutions.

Definitions

[1] As mountaineering in the narrower sense This statistic primarily refers to events in classic mountain sports, for which no transport equipment is used. For this reason, deaths from hang-gliding and paragliding, speed flying, base jumping and the use of mountain bikes are recorded separately in the figures shown here. The figures for classic mountain sports are comparable over several years.

The term “mountain emergency” includes all incidents in which mountaineers request the help of mountain rescue services. This also applies to illnesses and evacuations of uninjured people. “Mountain accidents” – as a subset of emergencies – are events that meet the general definition of an accident.

as a blockage describes all emergencies in which mountaineers are no longer able to continue their tour on their own or cancel it due to exhaustion, excessive demands, loss of material or other mishaps. As a rule, those affected are unharmed.

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Credits: text Swiss Alpine Club

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