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Seven climbers and hikers die in Swiss Alps

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Seven climbers and hikers die in Swiss Alps
View of the Täschhorn near Saas Fee. Photo: Valais cantonal police
08:30 CEST+02:00
At least seven people died in the Swiss Alps while climbing or hiking at the weekend, police report.

A 50-year-old foreign man died while climbing the Täschhorn in the Saas Fee region of the canton of Valais, cantonal police said on Sunday.

The incident occurred at around 2.15pm on Saturday when he fell 150 metres from an altitude of 4,040 metres down the west face as the man was descending the mountain down the Mischabeljoch with a colleague, police said.

The two climbers were not roped together, investigators said.

Police did not identify the victim's nationality.

Another alpinist died on Saturday while climbing in the Gspaltenhorn region of the Bernese Oberland, Bern cantonal police said.

The victim had not been formally identified, police said on Sunday.

The climber's fall was reported to emergency services and his lifeless body was spotted by a helicopter crew in a couloir of the Böse Tritt area, police said.

A 29-year-old German man died on Saturday after tumbling 300 metres during a mountain race in the Girenspitz area of the canton of Saint Gallen.

Cantonal police said the victim was in the company of a woman and another man — both from Germany.

Police have launched an investigation into the exact circumstances of the accident.

Meanwhile, a 53-year-old Swiss man died on Saturday while hiking with a group of seven people on Mount Pilatus in Central Switzerland.

While descending, he fell 35 metres down a rock wall, Nidwalden cantonal police said.

The same day in the canton of Fribourg, a 52-year-old woman died while walking on the Dents de Lays.

She lost her balance and fell 80 metres, according to a person who was accompanying her.

These accidents followed two fatalities on Friday in the Valais Alps.

A Swiss man died after falling 1,000 metres down the east face of the Matterhorn, near Zermatt, cantonal police said.

A German climber died after falling around 200 metres the same day on the Weissmies mountain.

Valais police also said on Friday they discovered near Sass Fee the body of a man in his 80s who had been missing since Wednesday.

The incidents occurred as above-average temperatures on the weekend encouraged many people to head to the mountains in search of cooler conditions.

MeteoSwiss, the national weather office, reported highs of up to 34C in northern parts of the country, more than ten degrees above average for the end of August. 

The office said the mini-heatwave will continue on Monday before a new weather system sets in on Tuesday with rain and cooler temperatures.

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