A brazen theft has sparked outrage in Switzerland. According to an association, unknown mountaineers broke into a donation box at an altitude of over 2,350 meters and stole the contents. It belongs to the IG Klettersteig association in Leukerbad in the canton of Valais, which maintains the difficult path at its own expense and secures dangerous spots. He only asks for donations. The perpetrators are unknown.
"A cheek," said Patrick Grichting from the board of the association of the German press agency on Sunday. A member discovered the theft in mid-August. The box must have contained the equivalent of a few hundred euros. A photo of the club shows the completely demolished box. "Your support guarantees us our livelihood" can be read on a plaque above it.
The donation box is built into a stone wall at an altitude of 2350 meters. In front of it is a meadow that up to 50 climbers use as a resting place on peak days. "Maybe the thieves were out very early in the morning or in the evening," said Grichting. The Daubenhorn via ferrata is the longest in Switzerland and has a level of difficulty of K5, i.e. it is "extremely difficult". You can reach the meadow via a climbing tour lasting several hours with special equipment. "It's not possible for run-of-the-mill hikers," said Grichting. The thieves must have had tools with them. "It's a massive box, you can't break it open with a screwdriver."
The club wrote on Facebook: "We don't wish the perpetrators anything bad, but that they will have a guilty conscience for all eternity on every trip to the mountains." Grichting told the dpa: "I couldn't continue climbing with money in my backpack that doesn't belong to me. Somewhere you have morals."
The Valais cantonal police knew nothing of the theft. The club did not report it because the perpetrators could hardly be found, said Grichting. He has no theft insurance. Since the Facebook entry a few days ago, new donations have arrived. The association wants to hang up a new box, but also create more opportunities for online donations.