Snowshoe hiker dies at Selun HB/SG-049

Sorry, this is sad news.

A 38-year-old mountain hiker fell into a karst hole on Sunday during a snowshoe hike towards the summit Selun. On Monday, he could only be recovered dead from a carst hole after an extensive search operation.
The police assumes that the karst hole was covered with a small amount of snow and therefore was not recognized by the snowshoer.

Source: Schneeschuhläufer fällt bei den Churfirsten in Karstloch und stirbt - SWI (in German).

A warning and tips from the Swiss Alpine Club about these karst holes that mainly applies to winter season: Heimtückische Karstlöcher (also in German).

73 Stephan


Bad news, but this is the reason for us to carry a handheld radio with us, witch is able to work APRS. We help specialy the rescue team for their work to find an catch somebody how is in an emergency situation.
The emergency control centers (in Germany and in mostly other countries) are not able to reache a APRS Signal, but other HamRadio operators (for example the Chasers) could help by submitting the last Position to a rescue team or control center. So when nobody is following the postion on, it dosn´t will help.

I think APRS is no guarantee für getting help if needed, but a SOTA-Activator mostly takes a handheld radio with him, so its no big effort to use APRS by the way.

Also helpful would be to write your APRS information in your alert. So interested chasers are informed.


Well, I actually don’t think that carrying an APRS-able radio will help here in any way. First, the Doline (the karst sinkhole) in this case seems to have been 10 meters deep. Line-of-sight VHF transmission works poorly from there, not taking into account that a free fall from such heights impedes a typical operator’s ability to use the rig ;-).

This is a tragedy, and I frankly admit that I had underestimated the risk of Dolines in winter. Basically, you need at least 1 m of snow to be on the safer of sides in known karst regions. As I just learned, this even affects some ski resorts, like the Hoher Ifen in the Kleinwalsertal.

And better not be alone in such terrain.

73 de Martin, DK3IT


Yes Martin, i also think that it is better to be not alone in this area. It´s better to be in a team in everey alpine area.

But the point is, when somebody can submit the rescue team or the emergancy control centre the last position, maybe the last APRS bake, it will be much more easy to enclose the area of search. And this will gain time to find the person.

I myself be a paramedic and when we are in a searching operation we will use every information we can get. Spacialy in offroad areas.

By the way, Stephan wrote that there was a extensive search operation. Because of this i think APRS could help in situations like this to find a person which has injured faster.


Me too, that’s why I thought it could be a helpful information.
In average it happens once a year, but many survive, probably because they’re not alone.
But compared with the in average 100 death per year in the Swiss Alps (if I remember correctly), it happens pretty seldom.

That’s the main tip of SAC.

Yes, they probably searched all night and the next Morning.
Usually they use IR cameras, but if you’re 10m deep in a hole, better don’t think about…

73 Stephan


How very sad. I can only hope death was quick and they did not suffer.

We get a superficially similar landscape in the UK (for example in Yorkshire) and in Ireland (the Burren). You can break a leg or twist an ankle but that’s about as dangerous as it gets. They have interesting plants in them.




I think if there was lots of snow about you could fall down Gaping Gill on Ingleborough G/NP-005 and it would be fatal.

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I think hike to F/AB-277 Aup de Véran has short section of similar terrain close to Col de Monthieu when you deviate from the downhill ski resort. Never done it in snow conditions, but can imagine those crevasses be hidden by snow.

Snow avalanches are common in Alps. When Meteo France gives level 4 or 5 in scale 1 - 5 you can actually hear them happening in the valleys.

73, Jaakko ac1bb/oh7bf

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