Hopes Fade For Injured Hiker On Blizzard Peak

An injured lone hiker trapped on an Alpine peak by snow and ice storms needs a “miracle” to survive, say rescuers.

The man has been named only as Julian P., 24, and he was reportedly injured while hiking up the Hochkalter peak, the largest in the area, in the Berchtesgaden Alps in Bavaria, in south-eastern Germany, on Saturday, 17th September.

Image shows the mountain rescue action in undated photo.

Hopes of finding him alive are reportedly dwindling by the minute, with German media reporting temperatures at the peak to be minus 6 degrees Celsius.

The rescuers are also reportedly facing adverse weather conditions including snowfall, ice, heavy rain, wind and fog.

After a sudden drop in temperature and the onset of winter conditions, rescuers are looking for Julian, who was reportedly hiking alone at an altitude of approximately 2,500 metres (8,200 feet).

The young man has reportedly suffered injuries to his head and arms, with mountain rescuer Michael Renner, 37, telling local media: “He was probably walking along the ridge at the top and must have slipped. After the fall, he descended until he was in a position from which he couldn’t get out.”

The young man reportedly managed to call for help but a snowstorm then interrupted telephone contact between him and the rescuers.

Image shows the mountain rescue action in undated photo.
Germany on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. (BRK-BGL/Newsflash)

Renner added: “The snowstorm made the search impossible. The search operation was extremely risky, even for the company’s own people.”

He also said: “Unfortunately it doesn’t look good. The chances are slim. But miracles always happen.”

Newsflash obtained a statement from the Bavarian Red Cross saying: “A large contingent of rescue workers, the police and several helicopter crews have been searching, presumably between 2,400 and 2,500 metres of altitude since Saturday afternoon, at temperatures of up to minus 6 degrees, with adverse weather conditions due to snowfall, ice, heavy rain, wind and fog, for a 24-year-old holidaymaker from Lower Saxony who had an accident on the south-west side of the Hochkalter and who has been missing ever since.

“The young man had travelled alone by train, set off on his high-alpine tour despite the early onset of winter and then made an emergency call at around 3pm on Saturday afternoon, which was received by the Tyrolean service station in Innsbruck […].”

The Red Cross also said: “Around 7 p.m., the rescuers had telephone contact with the casualty again, who was freezing in the snowstorm and couldn’t say exactly where he was, but was instructed to call attention to himself with loud shouts and to keep himself as warm as possible out of the wind.”

Image shows the rocky relief of the Bavarian Alps in undated photo.

They said that “the rescuers searched the snow-covered and blown-in gullies and crossings as best they could despite the poor visibility and the icy ground, some of which was covered with half a metre of snow, but could hardly communicate with each other because of the strong wind.”

They were able to get an approximate position from Julian over the phone, before contact was lost, with the young man saying “that he had climbed from the Blaueishuette via the east side of the mountain, whereby his phone failed to locate the exact location several times, but the presumed search area was at least narrowed down to the west side of the ridge between Kleinkalter and Hochkalter in the direction of the Ofental.”

They failed to locate him on Saturday evening and resumed the search on Sunday, but to no avail. On Monday morning, the Red Cross said: “A search on the ground by emergency services in the steep, high alpine and fall-prone terrain is currently too risky due to the large amount of fresh snow and also not very promising, since it continued to snow during the night and there is between half a metre and one and a half metres of snow on the mountain.

“If the weather improves, the mountain rescue service and the police will try to continue searching from the air at very short notice, as soon as the flying weather is better and the clouds on the mountain clear a little […].”

Search efforts are understood to still be ongoing.

Image shows a helicopter flying over the Bavarian Alps in undated photo.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorMarija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

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