A student stranded 5,000ft up an Alpine mountain peak as he searched for the perfect spot for a photo is facing a rescue bill of thousands of pounds.
The 20-year-old has started the trek up the mountain between the Salzburg Province, Austria, and the German Free State of Bavaria in clear, sunny conditions.
But just hours later he had been snowed in by a blizzard and was unable to find his way back, report local media.
After more than seven hours on the icy slopes, he called mountain rescue services in the nearby German town of Traunstein on 19th November for help.
Rescue units from the Bavarian Red Cross at Bad Reichenhall and Freilassing deployed a 15-member troop to search for the Uzbek national who had been unable to precisely indicate his location.
By that time, 20 centimetres – eight inches – of snow had fallen.
The team eventually located him at an altitude of 1,490 metres (4,888 feet) at the Hochstaufen-Jagersteig peak.
Mountain guides describe the peak as “altogether challenging” and say hikers need “sure-footedness and a head for heights.”
The student was eventually found cowering behind a rocky shelter to shield himself from freezing winds and snow.
The Bavarian Red Cross said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “The rescuers guided the student to their vehicle and provided him with food and hot tea before driving him down into the valley.
“He was freezing but unharmed apart from that. Our team had to rope him down to their vehicle due to the high risk of falling in the area and the muddy surface.
“After having arrived in the valley, they arranged a hotel bed for the night for the 20-year-old. The operation lasted more than five hours.”
The Red Cross has not yet revealed whether it would charge the student – who is based in the federal Austrian capital of Vienna – for the service, which is funded by taxpayers’ money.
There has been controversy in Alpine countries about rescue services saving poorly-equipped tourists with a lack of basic geographical knowledge going for hikes and ski tours.
If local officials consider the student’s actions reckless, he might have to foot a bill of several thousand pounds.
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Story By: Thomas Hochwarter, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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