Man spends the night suspended from a rope after falling off Matterhorn
A man has been rescued from the Matterhorn by Swiss emergency services after spending the night hanging from a rope having fallen off the mountain. The 51-year-old, who attempted to climb the famous mountain with thin clothes and running shoes, was airlifted by helicopter to the Swiss ski resort of Zermatt.
Man tries to climb Matterhorn in thin clothing and running shoes
At around 10.30pm on September 10, Air Zermatt, a local airline and helicopter rescue team, received reports of a man hanging by a rope off the Matterhorn mountain. The 51-year-old man from Spain, who was travelling alone, had fallen from an altitude of 4.200 metres above sea level, but was caught by a safety rope and got stuck in mid-air.
Instead of being fully prepared for his journey, authorities said in a press release that the man was dressed in thin clothing and was wearing running instead of hiking shoes. Once spotted, the Air Zermatt crew determined that the weather was too fierce to attempt a rescue straight away, and was forced to leave him there overnight.
Swiss emergency services and the man's mother calmed him down
At this time, the panicked man was able to talk to the emergency services via mobile phone. Specialists from Air Zermatt, and at one point the man’s own mother, managed to calm him down.
Finally, in the early hours of September 11, authorities tried to recover the stricken mountaineer via helicopter. A rescue specialist first lowered himself from the helicopter towards the man and tied him to his winch, something Air Zermatt said is highly dangerous as from that moment the helicopter was tethered directly to the mountain, making it impossible to turn away.
With a quick motion, the man’s rescuer cut through the tether keeping the man suspended and brought him back to the helicopter, which then returned to base in Zermatt. The man was then treated by doctors for slight frostbite on his fingers, but otherwise made a full recovery.