Unseasonable Massive Spring Snowstorm Strands German Hikers

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Zugspitze Cable Depot: https://zugspitze.de/en/Our-mountain-worlds/The-areas/Zugspitze

An unexpectedly harsh storm dumped up to six-and-a-half feet of snow on Germany’s highest peak, Zugspitze, trapping 29 hikers, dpa International reported on June 1.

Several groups of hikers set off in rain at the lower levels of the mountain, intending to reach Zubspitze’s 2,962-meter peak. Bitter cold transitioned the rain to heavy snow as they progressed up the mountain. Amid deep snow, below freezing temperatures, and limited visibility, the hikers determined they could no longer continue at about 2,500 meters and requested rescue services to get them off the mountain.

The Bavarian Mountain Rescue Service worked with the Zugspitze mountain railway company to locate “and extract the stranded hikers,” as SnowBrains reports. “The rescue efforts were further complicated by the freezing temperatures, which caused partial icing of the cable car equipment, rendering it inoperable at times.” See the Bavarian Mountain Rescue Service’s Facebook post below:

The recent spring storm added to the existing snowpack and ice that had accumulated on the mountain during the winter, which has yet to melt. The official ski season ended on May 1st.

Hiking on Zugspitze is popular after the end of the ski season; however, German authorities warn even experienced mountaineers against hiking on the mountain during inclement weather conditions. The hiking groups ignored the conditions and warnings and proceeded with their planned hike, only to become stranded.

 

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