15. 08. 12. - 14:13
Climber survives eating chocolate and drinking glacier water
A Bavarian climber who survived six days stuck in a crevasse on the Tyrolean Schrankogel, a mountain in the Stubai Alps has told how he survived by eating a square of chocolate a day and drinking glacier water.
The 70-year-old man from Schmidmühlen in Bavaria, Germany escaped with light injuries but was suffering from hypothermia and exhaustion.
The man was airlifted to hospital in Innsbruck where according to reports the only thing the man wants is a nice pint of good Bavarian beer.
Doctors at the hospital are surprised the man was able to survive so long in such icy conditions.
He is being checked over in the hospital. His body temperature was only 34 degrees when he was brought into hospital. Doctors are carrying out checks to see whether this will have any long lasting effects especially on his feet.
His kidneys are also being treated as they were affected by the mineral free glacier water. But he is in a very stable condition.
Volker Wenzel, a doctor at the hospital said: "He had a lot of training behind him, he was very well equipped and was able to organise himself well in the situation.
"He waited patiently sometimes sitting, sometimes standing. He knew if he went off to sleep he may never wake up.
He had a bar of chocolate in his backpack which he ate one square a day of and he drank the glacier water.
The man said he never gave up hope he would be rescued and would see his family again.
Franz Santer from the mountain rescue in Gries im Sellrain and who coordinated the rescue said: "The rescue went well. We got the man out of the crevasse with a rope pulley. He had fallen between ten and fifteen metres into the crevasse. He was resting on a ledge.
"In the crevasse it is a bit warmer than above the ground.
Alpine policeman Hansjörg Knoflach said: "The mountain rescue had to use ice screws and a pulley to get the man out of the crevasse. The man was totally exhausted, soaking wet but was fully concious. For what he went through he is in a very good condition."
He had set off six days ago and was walking to the Amberger Hütte when the accident occurred at around 3000 metres above sea level.
The man had been climbing on his own. It is thought he stood on snow covering a crevasse which then gave way below him.
"Other climbers heard screams and shouts for help. They alarmed rescuers. It is a wonder he survived so long.
In the crevasse it is not as cold as above ground as it is protected from wind.