Never so many crevasse falls | Mountain emergency statistics 2022

In 2022, according to mountain emergency statistics, 3668 people got into an emergency in the Swiss Alps and in the Jura and had to be rescued or rescued by the mountain rescue service - that's slightly less than in the previous year. 109 people died in classic mountain sports - that is significantly fewer than in 2021. At 70 people, the number of falls from crevasses on glaciers was almost twice as high as the average for the last 10 years (38).

2022 was the best year in the history of the SAC huts - never before have there been so many overnight stays. From this it can be concluded that never before have so many mountaineers been out and about in our mountains. It is all the more gratifying that, according to mountain emergency statistics, the number of mountain emergencies in 2022 (3668) compared to the previous year (3680) has fallen slightly - the number of deaths has even fallen significantly - from 131 in 2021 to 109 in 2022.

More blockages on ski tours

It is striking that in 2022 significantly more blocked people (1008) claimed emergency aid than the 10-year average (607). Especially on ski tours, blockages have more than doubled compared to previous years.

Display Ads Rectangle_Trailrunning
emergencies-on-ski tours
Mountain accident statistics 2022: emergencies on ski tours. Graphic: Swiss Alpine Club SAC

Winters with little snow encourage crevasse falls

At 70 people, the number of crevasse falls on glaciers was almost twice as high as the average for the last 10 years (38). There were 6 fatal falls (the 10-year average is less than 2). This is due to the poorly snowed glaciers.

In areas that received snow primarily from the south, such as the southern Valais Alps, there was extremely little snow. Everywhere in the Alps, snowfall was also much earlier than normal, even at high altitudes.

In 2022, crevasse falls have increased at full speed. Graphic: Swiss Alpine Club SAC
Mountain accident statistics 2022: The crevasse falls in 2022 have increased at full speed. Graphic: Swiss Alpine Club SAC

Number of mountaineers at an all-time high

With various periods of heat, the summer of 2022 was the second warmest summer in Switzerland (after the summer of 2003) since 1864. As a result, more people than ever before were probably in the mountains, which resulted in a significant increase in emergencies on high tours, on via ferrata and when trail running had.

Mountain accident statistics 2022: Emergencies by activity. Graphic: Swiss Alpine Club SAC
Mountain accident statistics 2022: Emergencies by activity. Graphic: Swiss Alpine Club SAC

Fewer fatal accidents

In classic mountaineering in the narrower sense [1], 98 mountaineers had fatal accidents in 109 events (previous year: 131). This is less than the long-term average (122). It is striking that the proportion of foreign victims has increased again to 40% (44 people). During the two Corona years, this proportion was below 30%. This is due to increased travel activity.

Medical Index Emergencies. Graphic: Swiss Alpine Club SAC
Medical Index Emergencies. Graphic: Swiss Alpine Club SAC

figures and evaluations

The present figures and graphics are based on the deployment data of the mountain rescue organizations REGA, the Swiss Alpine Rescue ARS, the cantonal Valais rescue organization KWRO and other institutions.

  • The term «mountain emergency» includes all incidents in which mountaineers request the help of the mountain rescue services. This also applies to illnesses and evacuations of uninjured persons. "Mountain accidents" - as a subset of emergencies - are events that correspond to the general definition of an accident.
  • [1] As mountaineering in the narrower sense This statistic primarily refers to events in classic mountain sports, for which no transport equipment is used. For this reason, deaths from hang-gliding and paragliding, speed flying, base jumping and the use of mountain bikes are recorded separately in the figures shown here. The figures for classic mountain sports are comparable over several years.
  • as a blockage describes all emergencies in which mountaineers are no longer able to continue their tour on their own or cancel it due to exhaustion, excessive demands, loss of material or other mishaps. As a rule, those affected are unharmed.

That might interest you

Do you like our climbing magazine? When we launched LACRUX, we decided not to introduce a payment barrier. It will stay that way, because we want to provide as many like-minded people with news from the climbing scene.

In order to be more independent of advertising revenue in the future and to provide you with even more and better content, we need your support.

Therefore: Help and support our magazine with a small contribution. Naturally you benefit multiple times. How? You will find out here.

Don't miss anything - receive our newsletter

* Indicates required
Interests

+ + +

Credits: Text Schweizer Alpenverein SAC, cover photo by Mandy Beerley | Unsplash

News

Outdoor enthusiasts meet here: Misoxperience Festival 2024

Attention bouldering and outdoor fans: The Misoxperience Outdoor Festival will take place for the third time in Misox, Graubünden, from May 4th to 12th.

Jernej Kruder conquers 9a hybrid route with offwidth topout

Despite the external conditions: Jernej Kruder repeats Ignacio Mulero's 9a hybrid route La Bruja in La Pedriza.

Is trail running the perfect training for alpinists?

Trail running as training for alpinists: Today we'll take a closer look at whether and how running has benefits for mountaineering.

Memories of David Lama on the 5th anniversary of his death

5th anniversary of the deaths of David Lama, Hansjörg Auer and Jess Rosskelley. In memory of three exceptional phenomena in modern mountaineering.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter now and stay up to date.

Outdoor enthusiasts meet here: Misoxperience Festival 2024

Attention bouldering and outdoor fans: The Misoxperience Outdoor Festival will take place for the third time in Misox, Graubünden, from May 4th to 12th.

Jernej Kruder conquers 9a hybrid route with offwidth topout

Despite the external conditions: Jernej Kruder repeats Ignacio Mulero's 9a hybrid route La Bruja in La Pedriza.

Is trail running the perfect training for alpinists?

Trail running as training for alpinists: Today we'll take a closer look at whether and how running has benefits for mountaineering.