German Alpine Club: Fewer Dead Despite Mountain Boom – Bavaria

It is an all-time low: Despite the boom in mountain sports, fewer members of the German Alpine Club (DAV) died last year than ever before in the past 70 years. The DAV announced this on Wednesday at its annual accident press conference. A total of 28 DAV members died in 2020 – half as many as in the previous year (56), but in which there were comparatively many deaths. The concern that the pandemic-related rush to the mountains could cause the accidents to skyrocket has not been confirmed, said DAV spokesman Thomas Bucher.

These were urgent appeals that the club had made to its members during lockdown. On social media, he called on people to be cautious so as not to put any further strain on the intensive care units. The appeal came at a time when for many people walking up the mountains became the only outlet for lockdown frustration and when it got busier on the weekends in the mountains. But many were apparently defensive. “It is likely that many people took the alpine clubs’ appeals for restraint seriously,” said Lukas Fritz from the DAV.

Overall, the long-term trend of falling emergencies and accidents continues in almost all mountain sports disciplines, as it was said. But there are also outliers.


“A 43-year-old falls in the Allgäu Alps”, “Experienced mountain hiker falls to his death on the Reiteralpe” – this is what the headlines read. These are often elderly people who slide down the mountain and fall into the depths. Because most of the DAV members are out there, there are also most accidents and emergencies when going uphill. In 2020 the number rose from 292 to 307 compared to the previous year, and the number of fatal accidents fell from 17 to twelve.

The DAV emphasized that mountain climbing is not dangerous per se: If you put the numbers in relation, “then you get a lower risk,” said Lukas Fritz from DAV security research. The causes are often internal reasons such as cardiovascular diseases, so Fritz. Statistically, you can go hiking in the mountains for 228 days before you suffer an injury. His conclusion: “When you see the crowds in the mountains, relatively little happens.”

Via ferrata

Iron ladders, steel ropes, rocky passages: Via ferratas have experienced a real boom in recent years. More and more peaks are wired and made accessible with iron pins and metal ladders. Many parents take their children with them. A trend that is viewed critically at the DAV. Three members died in 2020. While accidents in other areas are falling, the number of operations rose from 54 to 69. Often there were fewer falls than overwhelmed children who can no longer go back or forth and have to be rescued.

“We’re not proud of this trend,” said Fritz. Nevertheless, he appealed not to play the hero, but rather to make the emergency call earlier than too late. An accident last week shows how dramatic wrong decisions can be. Because he and his daughter got stuck on a tour in the Zillertal, the 43-year-old hung up. He fell at least 20 meters and died.

Mountain biking

The trend in accidents is also the opposite when it comes to mountain biking. No wonder: the long-standing trend sport is increasingly becoming a popular sport, especially in 2020 “downhill” and “freeride” became a means against the corona blues. Bicycle sellers sometimes report sales figures that are twice as high. This can also be seen in the number of accidents. While 38 bikers were injured in 2019, there were already 65 in 2020. A Munich mountain biker fell more than 100 meters to his death in November – statistically, it remains a fatal accident.

The vast majority of bikers (92 percent) fall without outside interference, most of them due to driving and braking errors. On Wednesday, the DAV opposed the impression that there are increasing conflicts between pedestrians and bikers: “We were not notified of any accident in which a cyclist and a pedestrian had collided,” said Fritz.

Ski touring

Get on it, go, end. Those who put on touring skis last spring in view of the closed lifts and ventured across the border into Austria were sometimes condemned to a fine on the spot. Because it was also exceptionally warm and many tour options were no longer available in Bavaria, the number of accidents also fell.

79 DAV tourers got into trouble in 2020, 16 fewer than in the previous year. A 55-year-old man from Munich died in the Schliersee mountains, collapsing after reaching the summit. In 2019, two DAV members died while ski touring. In the future there should be more accidents again: According to DAV estimates, the number of ski tourers has tripled to more than half a million since the beginning of the 2000s.


Source link