Fewer fatalities in the Swiss mountains in 2019

Hiking in the mountains claimed the most lives. Keystone / Anthony Anex

Fatal mountain accidents decreased by almost 15% last year compared to 2018. 

This content was published on March 9, 2020 - 13:49

The number dropped from 207 to 177 cases, according to figures released by the Swiss Alpine ClubExternal link on Monday.  

Of the 177 fatal cases, 120 people died while practising mountain sports, 11% fewer than in 2018. Hiking in the mountains claimed the most lives (54), followed by ski touring with 27 cases. 

Falls and slips were the main causes of accidents, accounting for 85 fatalities. Avalanches follow closely with 21 fatalities. The vast majority of victims (92) were men. 

In terms of risky pursuits off-piste skiing, hunting, canyoning, snowshoe hiking and base jumping saw an increase in the number of fatal cases. Paragliding, mountain biking and via ferrata hiking fatalities decreased, according to the Swiss Alpine Club.  

While the weather and mountain conditions were very similar in 2018 and 2019, the summer heat waves were shorter and drought conditions were less pronounced last year. This resulted in a slight decrease in the number of people heading to the mountains compared to 2018. 

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