Despite the rush to the mountains, the German Alpine Association (DAV) recorded significantly fewer mountain accidents among its members last year than in previous years. The number fell to 669 compared to 935 in the previous year - a decrease of a quarter. This was announced by the DAV on Wednesday when presenting its mountain accident statistics in Munich.
The DAV numbers are contrary to the general trend: among others, the Bavarian Mountain Rescue Service, but also the Swiss Alpine Club and the Alpine Police Austria have been reporting increasing accident numbers since the beginning of the pandemic and the associated rush to destinations in nature.
A possible reason for the discrepancy is that DAV members are more defensive and have better alpine training, said Julia Janotte from DAV security research. In addition, the ski areas in Germany were closed in winter 2020/2021, so there were no accidents on the slopes. Almost half of all accidents happened while hiking. In 60 percent of the cases, a fall was the cause.
According to the information, climate change entails additional dangers, especially in the high mountains. With the thawing of glaciers and permafrost, which holds the rock together like glue at high altitude, the risk of rock and ice falls increases, said Lorenz Berker from DAV safety research. The massive rock fall on the Marmolada in the Dolomites in July with eleven dead had startled mountaineers and climate researchers. A whole layer had broken out of the glacier. Some huts on Mont Blanc, for example, were closed this year due to the risk of falling rocks and falling rocks.