Saturday, 01. November 2014
25. 08. 14. - 17:00
A British soldier who tackled the frozen Austrian Alps wearing just shorts and a T-shirt has been rapped by officials after he had to be rescued from the snowy peak.
Rescuers in Hohe Tauern, a mountain range near the western city of Salzburg, say the 37-year-old man had ignored warnings that he could freeze to death wearing kit more suitable for a day the beach than a mountain top.
Conditions were so bad that a helicopter rescue was abandoned when the chopper could not fly high enough to reach the climber at 3,100 metres up the mountain.
Officials say he was warned when he reached an Alpine hut at 2,176 metres that he could die if he went any higher in his T-shirt, shorts, and trainers.
But he ignored the warning and climbed a further thousand metres before he called for help.
After the helicopter rescue was abandoned, local climbers braved snow and ice falls to rescue the stricken soldier, who was taken back down to the nearest rescue hut.
But his actions have infuriated local mountain rescue officials, who are expected to demand he pay the full cost of the operation to pluck him from the peak of the Kempsenkopf mountain.
Paul Hasenauer from Fusch Mountain Rescue said he only survived the ordeal without injuries because of his fitness as a soldier.
He said: "This man ignored every Alpine rule. He ignored all warnings."
"He was not equipped at all in any way for the expedition. He did not even have proper footwear on. He slid all the way back to the Gleiwitzer Hut as his shoes had no grip.
"As a soldier he was very fit. This was the only reason he survived. If he had not been so fit he would have not survived the climb," he added.
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