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The Watzmann in the Berchtesgadener Land: Two hikers from North Rhine-Westphalia had to be rescued from the mountain on the Whitsun weekend


Lino Mirgeler / dpa

A 37-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman from Münsterland misjudged themselves on Sunday during a hike on the Bavarian Watzmann and had to be rescued by the mountain rescue service - only to complain to them in the end.

According to their own description, the rescuers had previously had to ask the two on the mountain to follow their instructions so that the helicopter could use a small gap in the clouds in very poor visibility. After landing, the 37-year-old and his 29-year-old companion complained that they had never been treated so badly as patients, as the Ramsau mountain rescue service near Berchtesgaden announced on Tuesday.

For the rescue of the two tourists, 16 mountain guards and two helicopters had been in action for up to seven hours.

Risky rescue operation

On the Watzmann it is still wintry even at this time of year. When crossing the mountain, the two holidaymakers had climbed in the fog between the central and southern tip and were finally too exhausted at about five degrees to continue, according to the mountain rescue service.

With visibility of only a few meters, an elaborate use of ground forces began, and a helicopter circled constantly over the mountain in order to be able to get the two on board immediately with a winch in the event of a gap in the clouds.

Controversy over sleeping bag

When this moment finally came, there was a dispute, according to the mountain rescue service, because the climbers did not want to leave their unpacked hut sleeping bag behind – as ordered to save time. A rescue in the high mountains in wind and weather is neither a guaranteed nor an uncritical thing, commented mountain rescue spokesman Michael Renner.

Those affected are not always able to assess the explosive nature of the situation and the high risk for themselves as well as for the mountain guards. »A sleeping bag left behind bears no relation to the life and health of people!«