In 2018, 3211 people found themselves in an emergency in the Swiss Alps and the Jura and had to be rescued or rescued by mountain rescue - almost 20% more than in the previous year. 135 people died in classic mountain sports.

The mountain rescue organizations harbored 2018 in the Swiss Alps during the calendar year and 3211 in the Jura (including the uninjured or sick). This balance shows an increase of almost 2712% compared to the previous year (20 participants). 1021 persons could be rescued healthily or only slightly injured. In classic mountain sports more emergencies were recorded in all categories. Different developments were evident in the other mountain sports activities: There were more events in variant runs (freeride), during the hunt, on via ferrata, in paragliding and mountain biking; a little less on snowshoeing and base jumping.

The number of deaths is also significantly higher at 207 (previous year 154). The most numerous were those as a result of a crash with 120 victims (previous year 80) and due to illness with 49 victims (previous year 39). In mountain sports in the narrower sense [1], 117 people were killed in 135 accidents, around 30% more than in the previous year.

Ideal weather conditions attracted many tourists to the mountains  

With 34 persons (previous year: 10), significantly more ski tourers in particular were fatally injured. Avalanche accidents (15), fatigue and freezing (7) were the causes. Even at full speed, significantly more alpinists were affected by an emergency. However, the number of fatalities remained constant with 21 compared to the previous year. When climbing 6 people were fatally injured (last year 2). 5 has been fatally crashed due to mishandling rope handling. Similarly, when hiking in the mountains, the number of fatal accident victims with 57 persons is slightly higher than the year before. 54 was killed by a crash, most off the beaten tracks.

The very high number of mountain emergency cases is mainly due to the high tour activity: A snowy winter and a very long, dry and hot summer and immediately afterwards a beautiful autumn attracted many people in the mountains. Even if every fatal mountain accident is an accident too much: 2018 was not a record year in this regard, thanks not least to the professional and efficient mountain rescue service.

Detailed numbers and evaluations

Background to the mountain emergency statistics

The accident statistics are compiled by the SAC on behalf of the Section for Safety in Mountaineering [2] on the basis of data from mountain rescue organizations and other institutions. A detailed report will be published in the April issue of the SAC member magazine "Die Alpen".

[1] Mountain sports in the narrower sense of the term are understood to mean above all the events in classic mountain sports, for the exercise of which no transport device is used. For this reason, the figures shown here include, in particular, the deaths associated with delta and paragliding, speed flying, base jumping and the use of mountain bikes. So the numbers of classic mountaineering are comparable over several years.

[2] The Section Safety in mountain sports in an association of associations and institutions in the mountain sports sector. Members are: Alpine rescue Switzerland ARS, bfu - advice center for accident prevention, Federal Office for Sport FOSPO, Canton Valais rescue organization KWRO, competence center mountain service of the army Komp Zen Geb DA, interest group climbing facilities IGKA, nature friends Switzerland NFS, Swiss alpine club SAC, Swiss mountain guide association SBV , Swiss Hiking Trails SWW, Swiss Ski Federation Swiss-ski, WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF; Cable cars Switzerland, SBS.

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Credits: text customer care, Cover photoRega

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