Zoom Image

Robert Renzler during his time as Secretary General of the Austrian Alpine Club

Photo: Angelika Warmuth / picture alliance / APA

The former secretary general of the Austrian Alpine Club, Robert Renzler, died in a climbing accident on Saturday. According to police, the 67-year-old was traveling with his 31-year-old son in the Tyrolean Alps when the accident happened. The Alpine Club confirmed the identity of the dead man in a obituary.

According to the police report, Renzler and his son were climbing on the Stafflach wall in the municipality of Außerschmirn. After the last pitch, they wanted to lower themselves over the separately set up abseiling slope.

According to initial findings, the 67-year-old is said to have either not fixed himself at all or incorrectly fixed himself in the abseiling stand. When he unhooked himself from the descender, he is said to have noticed the mistake and tried to hold on to the rope, which he did not succeed in.

According to the information, Renzler fell 60 meters to the foot of the climbing wall. His son is said to have abseiled immediately, with the support of another climber, to the fallen and tried to resuscitate his father.

The 67-year-old was taken to hospital by a rescue helicopter, but succumbed to his injuries before arriving.

Known for his commitment to nature conservation

Robert Renzler was Secretary General of the Austrian Alpine Club from 2002 to 2020. One year after his retirement, he also received honorary membership of the association. Renzler is known in Austria for his lifelong commitment to nature conservation and the preservation of alpine landscapes.

In an obituary on the website of the Alpine Club, it is said that Renzler had implemented "many things that are almost taken for granted today" during his time as general secretary. The news of his death had shaken the club deeply. Renzler had died in an activity "that was not only a passion for him, but the essence of life itself".