Climber Killed In Avalanche After Completing The Königsjodler Ferrata On Hochkönig In Austria


Avalanche On Hochkönig Near Salzburg, Austria Claims Life Of Mountaineer

Hochkönig, Austria – On Saturday, June 4, 2016 a 41-year-old climber was caught, buried, and killed in an avalanche when he slipped while descending the Birgkar on the Hochkönig near Salzburg, Austria.

Hochkönig | Pixabay Image
Hochkönig | Pixabay Image

The victim and his 38-year-old climbing partner had just completed the Königsjodler ferrata on the Hochkönig. The Königsjodler is one of the longest and most difficult via ferrata routes in Europe. It climbs 1700 meters – almost to the Matrashaus near the summit of the Hochkönig at 2941 meters.

The avalanche victim triggered the size 1 loose avalanche when he slipped near the entrance to the Birgkar at 2800 meters. The avalanche occurred on a south aspect and started on a 35 degree slope. It measured 10 cm deep by 5 meters wide and carried the victim 800 meters through steep and rocky terrain. The victim was buried approximately 1 meter deep and sustained fatal injuries during his fall. There was no avalanche danger rating posted due to the time of year that this accident happened. See photos of this avalanche accident here.

The uninjured companion notified authorities. Due to the remote location a helicopter responded to the scene. In total there were 33 mountain rescue members and alpine police with 3 search dogs. The victim was not wearing an avalanche transceiver and was found by a search dog within a few hours of the incident occurring.

The Hochkönig is the highest mountain in the Berchtesgaden Alps, Salzburgerland, Austria. It’s summit is 2941 meters. The Hochkönig translates to the High King.

According to a recent report title 177 Global Avalanche Fatalities In 2015/2016, this would be the 15th avalanche fatality in Austria this season. Since that report was posted on May 15, there have been at least 3 additional avalanche fatalities.

Read more about the avalanche on Hochkönig in Salzburg, Austria from these sources:

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