Last weekend Air Zermatt was called to help a 51-year-old Spaniard who remained stuck in running shoes over 4000 meters on the east face of the Matterhorn. An operation conducted in adverse weather conditions that hindered the recovery, which took place in the middle of the night.
A rescue operation amidst fog, wind and panic
The alarm was raised in the late evening of Saturday 10 September, around 10.30 pm. The Spaniard, climbing solo, after a fall was left hanging from the rope, at 4200 meters. The crew on board an Air Zermatt helicopter managed to spot him but rescue was not made possible by the presence of fog and strong wind. The climber went like this in the panic.
The doctors from the emergency room, the rescue technicians from Zermatt and the mother they tried to calm him down by telephone. Meanwhile, rescuers constantly monitored weather conditions to evaluate a rescue attempt.
About 3:30 in the morning an Air Zermatt helicopter with a rescue technician on board finally managed to take off in the direction of the Matterhorn. The evacuation, despite the difficult weather conditions, was completed with the winch.
The Spaniard, lightly dressed and wearing running shoes, fortunately brought back only one slight frostbite of the fingers.