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Woman rescued from crevasse on Monte Rosa

 Poster: A snowHead
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A Russian woman resident in Germany has been rescued after spending 48 hours in a crevasse on Monte Rosa. Despite warnings from the staff at the Monte Rosa hut she went out on the glacier in light summer clothing (shorts!) on her own with no equipment. She did not leave any details of her route either. She fell onto a snow bridge around 10m below the surface. She was very lucky that a guided group passed by the crevasse around 48 hours later who then called the mountain rescue team. She had mild hypothermia when she arrived at the hospital. She is very lucky to be alive and will be shortly receiving a very large bill from Air Zermatt for fishing her out and flying her to hospital.

Details on the Air Zermatt facebook page https://www.facebook.com/airzermatt.ch/ or in Spiegel .

The pictures on the Air Zermatt page show a very small hole, very fortunate indeed that she was rescued!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Chuffing moron
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Blimey she’s lucky to be alive. I spent about an hour in a crevasse (intentionally, ice climbing) and it was absolutely freezing even whilst active in full gear.
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Nadenoodlee wrote:
Chuffing moron


Agreed, but I guess while she was stuck down the crevasse for 2 days she had ample time to reflect on her predicament and how she got herself into it, hopefully she has learned a lesson....
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English link
https://www.dw.com/en/russian-woman-rescued-after-two-days-in-swiss-glacier-crevasse/a-54711230

Much more experienced people have gone missing up there and not been found.
https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/search-underway_german-retail-magnate-missing-in-alps/44037666

Sometimes the bodies are found decades later
https://www.thelocal.ch/20160727/swiss-glacier-reveals-body-of-skier-missing-for-53-years


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Fri 28-08-20 10:07; edited 2 times in total
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Does one just go for a “stroll” on a glacier?
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A friend came across a Russian lady on a Klettersteig (via ferrata) in Garmisch. Was wearing high heels and carrying a suitcase. Wanted to know how far to the hut?
My friend explained that she would quite likely need a helicopter to get there.
rolling eyes
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ster wrote:
Does one just go for a “stroll” on a glacier?


We were there a few years back in Summer and pretty sure the hiking path drops down to the glacier and we walked around a bit on the ice. It was grey ice with no snow cover so the crevasses “looked” quite obvious. Perhaps with fresh snow on it some of the smaller ones would be hidden.

https://www.zermatt.ch/en/Media/Planning-hikes-tours/Glacier-trek-to-the-Monte-Rosa-Hut-Nr.-21a

Description
When you head off glacier trekking armed with your crampons, you enter a different world. A cool wind blows continually and it cracks, crashes and rushes inside the glacier; rivers split the glacier in a constant process.

The trekking tour starts at Rotenboden and leads along the extended lateral moraine on an easily accessible hiking trail. At the next signpost, the path leads straight ahead to the Gorner Glacier. There is a slight ascent on the glacier, making crampons essential. The path is marked with blue and white signposts. After the glacier, the Panorama Trail continues over three moraines to the Monte Rosa hut.

The Gorner Glacier is the second-longest in the Alps, after the Aletsch Glacier. This steadily flowing sea of ice has been melting at a phenomenal pace for years. The melting process is resulting in great changes on and in the glacier. Until just a few years ago, hikers could walk comfortably across the glacier to the Monte Rosa hut with little risk. Today, conditions have become unstabler, and so hikers are recommended to undertake the trek with a mountain guide.
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BobinCH wrote:
ster wrote:
Does one just go for a “stroll” on a glacier?


We were there a few years back in Summer and pretty sure the hiking path drops down to the glacier and we walked around a bit on the ice.

I don't know how accurate this is for Monte Rosa, but the maps/guides I have for Saas Fee indicate that glacial paths are marked blue rather than the usual red for a hiking path, so it should at least be obvious what kind of terrain you might encounter.

That said, it doesn't sound like the woman in question is likely to have known this Confused
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That’s what it looked like in 2010!
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Steilhang wrote:
A friend came across a Russian lady on a Klettersteig (via ferrata) in Garmisch. Was wearing high heels and carrying a suitcase. Wanted to know how far to the hut?
My friend explained that she would quite likely need a helicopter to get there.
rolling eyes


That's standard equipment for them. I once saw a russian lady try and walk across a turkish beach in high heels to her sugar daddy. After failing to conquor the wooden slat pathway she decíded jump off into the sand, her cocktail drink went everywhere. The sand was red hot from the sun so she really did crash and burn.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
From the Air Glacier FB pics looks like there was fresh snow on it and she walked straight over a snow bridge - the crevasse line is pretty obvious either side

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Any idea how she got up there (from Rotenboden/Riffelsee?) and how far away she was from the hut?


http://youtube.com/v/UJQL-8OuDUA


http://youtube.com/v/Vh5h8OfKI3Y


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Fri 28-08-20 11:26; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@BobinCH, The path to the Monte Rosa Hut from Gornergrat crosses (or at least it used to, it was a good few years ago since I did it) a "dry" part of the Gornergletscher. I guess some of the lower parts of the Grenzgletscher near the hut are also now "dry" as in your picture. With a modicum of care this is fairly safe for non equipped people in good weather, though glaciers can be unstable. I am sure lots of folk walk up to the hut for lunch on a nice day. There is (or was) a similar walk from Arolla to the Dix hut

The text and images on the Air Zermatt page imply the crevasse was higher up, on the way to the Margherita Hut. Really not a place to be without proper equipment and clothing. Crossing a snow covered glacier on your own is risky no matter how experienced you are. Reinhold Meissner fell into a crevasse on his solo ascent of Everest and was lucky to get out again.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
surely all she had to do was provide @admin with a valid email address ?
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@BobinCH, I am pretty sure that the mountain just left of centre in the picture above is the Lyskamm (the summit ridge is a well known arete, beyond my mountaineering talents) though my memories of all this are a bit hazy. This implies she was at around 3800m really not a place to be unless you have the right equipment and experience. Definitely not a place to go for a "stroll".

The Mont Rosa hut site shows the access route from Rotenboden https://monterosahuette.ch/location-and-access/?lang=en . It was a while ago when I did it so it was with the "old" route which from memory was reasonably straightfoward but the glaciers have changed a lot since then, hence the "new" route.

The Margherita Hut is an odd place. Unless you are well acclimatised you will suffer from altitude sickness and struggle to sleep. The hut is perched above a 2000m drop which is visible from the toilet widows.
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Never been treking there, I've only skied down the glacier in Mar 2019.

It looks like they have changed the route up to the Monte Rosa hut since the new hut was built (2015?). Maybe this new way up is much easier and people can get up to the hut without the proper glacier equipment.

https://www.section-monte-rosa.ch/de/12-news/157-neues-huettenwart-team-auf-der-monte-rosa-huette
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@DB, I dont remember all that iron work on the path to the Monte Rosa hut or the glacier having so many crevasses, no need for harnesses etc. It was 25 years ago though so sure a combination of age and glacier retreat is at play.....
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munich_irish wrote:
@DB, I dont remember all that iron work on the path to the Monte Rosa hut or the glacier having so many crevasses, no need for harnesses etc. It was 25 years ago though so sure a combination of age and glacier retreat is at play.....


Remember looking at the vids last year hence the reason I was surprised anybody without glacier equipment and in shorts would go up alone to the Monte Rosa hut. I'm guessing the new route (since 2015) is easier or there is yet another easier route up there (from Gornergrat?).

Think you are right about her being further up the glacier. Hard to tell from the pics but it looks like she was much more than just a few paces strolling around on the glacier.



Lyskamm is just to the right of Parrotspitze in this pic. Maybe she was even as far up as the red cross in this pic.
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@DB, I think you are about correct with your red cross. It is not impossible she decided to walk from the Monte Rosa hut to the Margherita hut. The red cross is pretty much on that route as the hut is on the summit of the Signalkuppe. As has been pointed out it was adding stupidity to stupidity by walking across such a narrow snow bridge without being roped up.
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This link (looks like a poor online translation) states that she got up to 3725m on the grenz glacier which would put her in the vincinity of the red cross.

Quote:
Last Sunday, the woman (in her early 30s) walked from the Monte Rosa hut at 2,883 meters, wearing only short trousers and a small backpack, to the Grenz glacier in the Monte Rosa massif above Zermatt.
It happens at around 3725 meters: a crevasse opens up under the blanket of snow, invisible to the woman. One step on the snow bridge, which cannot hold its weight, and it falls down with the snow. “The hole on the surface was no more than a meter by one,” says Lehner of the dpa. “Underneath, the gap was certainly 50, 60 meters long and in places two to three meters wide.”


https://www.web24.news/u/2020/08/woman-walks-on-a-glacier-in-shorts-then-it-happens.html

Absolute crazy, like walking through a mine field!

In spring last year one person died while their guide rescued another person from a different group who had fallen into a crevasse in the same area.
https://www.jellypages.com/life-style/Alpinist-wants-to-help-in-Zermatt-and-plunges-to-his-death-h82723.html

When we skied down from the Margaritta Hütte last year there were enough crevasses around, in summer the situation must be much worse.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Fri 28-08-20 15:01; edited 2 times in total
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I was in the Monte Rosa hut two years ago and I think you’re right on the location. Below the hut the glacier is “dry” and very gritty/dirty, not white at all. Sitting in the hut having a beer after a Difourspitze ascent we watched a Swiss Mountain Guide walking down to the hut from the glacier on his own. He’d guided a group of Russians up to the Margherita hut and they’d decided to just hire a helicopter for the trip back down to Zermatt. No room in the heli for the guide so he’d had to walk down on his own. Don’t think he was very happy about it, even a guide can’t spot every weakness on a glacier.
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Valkyrie wrote:
I was in the Monte Rosa hut two years ago and I think you’re right on the location. Below the hut the glacier is “dry” and very gritty/dirty, not white at all. Sitting in the hut having a beer after a Difourspitze ascent we watched a Swiss Mountain Guide walking down to the hut from the glacier on his own. He’d guided a group of Russians up to the Margherita hut and they’d decided to just hire a helicopter for the trip back down to Zermatt. No room in the heli for the guide so he’d had to walk down on his own. Don’t think he was very happy about it, even a guide can’t spot every weakness on a glacier.


Evil or Very Mad That's really direspectful to the mountains and the guide.
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Boring afternoon in the office so I looked through the Monte Rosa hut site. The ladders and bridge etc featured in the video were only installed when the hut was rebuilt in around 2010 so my recollections from the mid 90s are probably right, there was some straight forward scrambling and a relatively easy glacier crossing to get to the hut from Rottenboden. Seems a good deal more effort needed now.
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Looks like they have changed the route a few times in the last few decades.

The last change being in summer 2019. Still looks as though you need crampons though.

Quote:
Summer access
Panoramatrail Monte Rosa Hütte, 4 hours (recommended Variation)
New option available from the 6th July 2019


https://monterosahuette.ch/location-and-access/?lang=en
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We did the route from Rotenboden to the new Monterosahütte in summer 2012 shortly after it opened, crampons certainly needed. The route was marked by quite big blue/white 'tripod' poles, weighted with suspended rocks. But we all know glaciers have a habit of moving, so every now and then the next set of poles is out of sight because it's collapsed on to the ice. I see there is a new 'recommended' route from 2019, which goes further up the Gornergletscher, before approaching the hut from the east, rather from the west (2012).
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Whilst checking the Monterosahütte website, I came across links to the brilliant Swiss mapping site https://map.geo.admin.ch , the online version of Swisstopo. But you probably all know about it already...
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