Mythenweg named as the most dangerous hiking trail in Switzerland
According to 20 minuten, the Mythenweg in Canton Schwyz is the deadliest hiking trail in Switzerland. The Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) has recorded 22 fatal accidents on the mountain path since 1998.
Steep climb to Gross Mythen is deadliest hike in Switzerland
The Mythenweg (Route 829) is a six-kilometre path where hikers climb 660 metres from the Rotenflue cable car to the summit at Gross Mythen and then back down again. The route features 47 steep curves up the mountain, and views of central Switzerland and the Alps can be seen at the summit.
Last Saturday, the body of a 57-year-old man was discovered on the route between curves 19 and 20. The man had fallen and suffered fatal injuries. His body was recovered by Rega, Swiss police confirmed.
22 fatal accident occurred on Mythenweg since 1998
According to the SAC, since 1998, 22 fatal accidents have occurred on the hiking trail, making it “the deadliest hiking route in Switzerland,” followed by the Äscher hiking area in Appenzell Innerrhoden. Managing Director of the Swiss Mountain Guide Association, Pierre Mathey, told 20 minuten that the main reason why the Mythenweg takes the top spot is that the route is extremely popular, attracting 40.000 people every year.
“Very often, there is a risk of an accident when a person steps out of their personal comfort zone,” Mathey noted. "In principle, every hiker has their own responsibility, but be careful, the [Mythenweg] is slippery in wet and foggy conditions, and it corresponds to a tricky hike."
Mountain Guide Association: Be honest about your hiking abilities
Speaking to 20 minuten, Mathey explained that, while hiking is generally not a dangerous activity, most accidents occur when people “overestimate their abilities.” Alongside being sure-footed, having good trekking shoes and passable orientation skills, Mathey said that hikers should recognise when they should stop, noting that many accidents occur when people are distracted by fatigue.
While the number of people dying on mountain hikes has increased, from 55 people in 2020 to 68 in 2021, Mathey assured that “compared to the large number of people moving in the mountains, the number of accidents is very small."
"Anyone who decides to hike on a mountain trail of a high level of difficulty should already have experience in hiking and hiking on mountain trails," he explained. For those without experience with this type of route, Mathey asserted that they should always be accompanied by a hiking or mountain guide.