The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Fewer mountain accidents but more mountain fatalities last year

Last year, 114 people had fatal accidents in the Swiss mountains. Almost two thirds of them were foreigners. A total of 3501 people got into an emergency situation on the mountain.

The number of people who had to be rescued or rescued last year fell slightly in 2023, from 3668 in 2022 and 3680 in 2021. The Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) cited the fact that there was little snow at lower altitudes in winter 2022/23 and therefore fewer snow sports enthusiasts were out and about as the reason for the decline.

Accordingly, there were 27 fatalities from January to April, 11 fewer than the 5-year average. The fine weather in the summer months then attracted more people to the mountains again, which was reflected in a higher number of accidents and fatalities. From June to September, 67 people died, 9 more than the 5-year average.

As a result, the total number of fatalities rose by 5 compared to the previous year to 114. The highest number of deaths occurred while hiking, namely 51, followed by mountaineers with 29 and ski tourers with 11 fatalities. Most mountaineers died after falls (83 deaths), 22 died in avalanches.

Of the fatal accident victims, 71 were foreigners, more than at any time in the past ten years. One in three of them came from Germany (15 percent), Italy (12 percent) or the Netherlands (6.8 percent).

The SAC figures are based on data from the mountain rescue organizations Reg, Alpine Rescue Switzerland, the cantonal Valais rescue organization KWRO, Air-Glaciers Lauterbrunnen and other institutions.


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