In 2022, according to mountain emergency statistics, 3668 people got into an emergency in the Swiss Alps and in the Jura and had to be rescued or rescued by the mountain rescue service - that's slightly less than in the previous year. 109 people died in classic mountain sports - that is significantly fewer than in 2021. At 70 people, the number of falls from crevasses on glaciers was almost twice as high as the average for the last 10 years (38).
2022 was the best year in the history of the SAC huts - never before have there been so many overnight stays. From this it can be concluded that never before have so many mountaineers been out and about in our mountains. It is all the more gratifying that, according to mountain emergency statistics, the number of mountain emergencies in 2022 (3668) compared to the previous year (3680) has fallen slightly - the number of deaths has even fallen significantly - from 131 in 2021 to 109 in 2022.
More blockages on ski tours
It is striking that in 2022 significantly more blocked people (1008) claimed emergency aid than the 10-year average (607). Especially on ski tours, blockages have more than doubled compared to previous years.
Winters with little snow encourage crevasse falls
At 70 people, the number of crevasse falls on glaciers was almost twice as high as the average for the last 10 years (38). There were 6 fatal falls (the 10-year average is less than 2). This is due to the poorly snowed glaciers.
In areas that received snow primarily from the south, such as the southern Valais Alps, there was extremely little snow. Everywhere in the Alps, snowfall was also much earlier than normal, even at high altitudes.
Number of mountaineers at an all-time high
With various periods of heat, the summer of 2022 was the second warmest summer in Switzerland (after the summer of 2003) since 1864. As a result, more people than ever before were probably in the mountains, which resulted in a significant increase in emergencies on high tours, on via ferrata and when trail running had.
Fewer fatal accidents
In classic mountaineering in the narrower sense , 98 mountaineers had fatal accidents in 109 events (previous year: 131). This is less than the long-term average (122). It is striking that the proportion of foreign victims has increased again to 40% (44 people). During the two Corona years, this proportion was below 30%. This is due to increased travel activity.
figures and evaluations
The present figures and graphics are based on the deployment data of the mountain rescue organizations REGA, the Swiss Alpine Rescue ARS, the cantonal Valais rescue organization KWRO and other institutions.
- The term «mountain emergency» includes all incidents in which mountaineers request the help of the mountain rescue services. This also applies to illnesses and evacuations of uninjured persons. "Mountain accidents" - as a subset of emergencies - are events that correspond to the general definition of an accident.
-  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.
- 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 Schweizer Alpenverein SAC, cover photo by Mandy Beerley | Unsplash