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Tourist falls 300 feet to his death

Flowers on a casket. (Unsplash)
September 22, 2023

A British tourist met his untimely death in Austria after falling from a famed aerial ladder that has become a staple for Instagram enthusiasts.

The incident occurred in the stunning Dachstein Mountains, located close to Salzburg, on September 12. The 42-year-old, whose identity remains undisclosed, fell 300 feet into a valley, according to The Daily Mail.

The ladder called a “via ferrata,” spans 120 feet and allows climbers the exhilarating experience of moving between sheer cliff faces. Upon the man’s fall, two helicopter squads alongside multiple police units were dispatched to the location, according to The Daily Mail.

Initial investigations have dismissed third-party negligence, emphasizing the tragic accident’s unfortunate nature.

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“According to the conclusion of the police investigation, it is clearly an accident,” a police spokesperson told The Daily Mail.

Perched atop the Grosser Donnerkogel mountain, which stands at an impressive 6,739 feet, this ladder is presented on a local Dachstein tourism website as the “ultimate adrenaline kick” and the “highlight of every climbing tour.”

“The new 40-metre panoramic sky ladder is the new TOP attraction [in] the Zwieselalm [region] for climbing enthusiasts,” the site says. “Free-floating, the 40-meter-long sky ladder takes you over a deep gorge up to the ‘Donnermandel’. Pure thrills!”

In 2020, Stefanie Millinger, a self-described “extreme athlete,” showcased her daring sense of adventure by uploading a video where she clings to the ladder with only one hand.

For those unfamiliar, via ferratas are not exclusive to Austria. AVA, an excursions enterprise located in Colorado, notes that the ladders are designed to help “people with limited mountaineering experience to traverse mountainous areas that would otherwise be challenging or inaccessible.” 

Especially prevalent in Europe and North America’s alpine zones, via ferratas cater to a range of adventurers, from beginners on short routes to veterans seeking longer, physically demanding challenges.

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.