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"People have no idea what they're getting into": Briton falls to his death on Instagram via ferrata


Highlights: A 42-year-old Briton fell to his death while climbing the Intersport via ferrata on the Großer Donnerkogel near Gosau in Salzburger Land (Austria) On Instagram alone you can find over 3500 posts about the climbing route. The climb is often very exposed and the route has difficulty levels C/D (medium) and C/C (difficult) Since the viaferrata is easily accessible by cable car, traffic jams can be expected, especially on weekends.

Status: 14/09/2023, 13:24 p.m.

By: Johannes Welte


The Intersport via ferrata on the Donnerkogel is a popular Instagram hotspot. © kshu PantherMedia B353344474

The via ferrata on the Donnerkogel in Salzburger Land is a popular photo motif for social networks. But the climb is dangerous, now a British tourist fell to his death.

Gosau - The Intersport via ferrata on the Großer Donnerkogel near Gosau in Salzburger Land (Austria) has long since ceased to be an insider tip. Thousands of influencers are posting pictures of the 40-metre-long ladder to heaven, which was installed in 2017 and guarantees dizzying shots over Lake Gosau.

Accident on Instagram via ferrata in Austria: Briton falls 100 meters into the depths at the exit

On Instagram alone you can find over 3500 posts about the climbing route. But many tourists underestimate the demanding climbing tour. On Tuesday (12 September), a mountaineer fell fatally while climbing the Intersport via ferrata. The 42-year-old Briton was, according to the Salzburg State Police Directorate, at the exit of the via ferrata when he fell and crashed through pathless terrain. The climber fell 70 to 100 meters along a steep gully and remained in a rubble channel.

Eyewitnesses observed the fall and alerted the emergency services. The Alpine police moved out on the ground and with two helicopters. According to the police, the crew of the emergency helicopter Christophorus C14 was able to locate the climber shortly afterwards, but on the spot, the rescuers were only able to determine the death of the Briton and recover him.

The dead Briton was recovered by the Christophorus 14 rescue helicopter. © Stephan Goerlich via

On Instagram you can find over 3500 posts about the via ferrata

The Intersport via ferrata on the Dachstein leads to the summit of the Großer Donnerkogel (2050 metres). 470 climbing meters of the route, which has a total of 670 meters of altitude, have the difficulty level C/D (medium), the climb is often very exposed. Since the via ferrata is easily accessible by cable car, according to, traffic jams lasting several hours at key points must be expected, especially on weekends.

Social networks have been complaining for years that the Intersport via ferrata with its distinctive ladder to heaven has increasingly become a photo hotspot. In 2020, extreme athlete Stefanie Millinger balanced in a ballet costume on the ladder to heaven and thus also continued to cheer on the run on the via ferrata.


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Tourist couple climbed off without equipment and quickly got stuck

This leads to excesses like that of a couple – she Chinese, he Indian – who scrambled towards the ladder to heaven last weekend without any via ferrata experience and had to give up at the first difficult point. A police helicopter had to rescue the two. On September 11, a Polish woman (46) had to be rescued from the climb by helicopter because they had left the forces. At the beginning of June, the 34-year-old from Germany was rescued by helicopter after a fall on the via ferrata.

Christian Egger, head of operations at the Gosau Mountain Rescue, told Krone: "We know that the via ferrata is far too busy. If you fly over it with a helicopter, you can see a human chain like on Mount Everest. Sometimes people have no idea what they're getting into."

An 86-year-old mountain hiker who recently got lost on the Alpspitze near Garmisch-Partenkirchen had better luck.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-09-14

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