First of all, the mountain rescue service is there for a single reason - so that it can provide help in the mountains! So she can be called to help people in a (mountain) emergency. Why such simple statements must be made right at the beginning of an opinion article is in itself worth considering, and in the course of the article we are reminded that even such fundamental findings seem to be lost in the conglomerate of opinions.

I follow in the social media the mountain guards of the perimeter. After special missions, post brief descriptions of each mission and add some photos. One could, if one wanted to, learn something through these contributions, about the route, the weather conditions, and in general about the dangers that can occur even on seemingly "simple" mountains when a few things come together unhappily - that is the proverbial " Chain of unfortunate circumstances ".

(In) social media

But lo and behold, let's just say it's like that: vicious and inhuman comments drip in like slimy, disgusting stuff. In unison, it is demanded that the victims should pay for their own use. For many, that seems to be the most important thing: the money. By remote diagnosis, in retrospect, listed neatly what the rescued have probably done everything wrong. From the weather over footwear, you know the usual sayings yes.

Here are some selected quotes from the comments of the last two posts of Bergwacht Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Facebook (regarding Kramer, 14.6 and Jubi-ridge, 11.6.) to clarify what's going on:

Unsocial on the mountains

Yes, we have one "Run" on the mountains, and hiking, climbing, mountain sports in general is fashionable. The mountains are calling ... and that's good! Surely people are also on tours on the road, which gives them trouble and which they are subjectively or even objectively (who judges that?) May not be equal. But how should people grow, if not in their tasks? Not very blatantly dripped from many a comment reflexively an alpine elitism, which brings me to strangle.

Especially in the environment of the DAV, which struggles historically and almost bipolarly for its own relationship to pluralism and elitism, I come across it. In climbing gyms, in mountain huts, everywhere sticky conjectures or slippery remarks come up again and again. "We, the true mountaineers and ... the others" is certainly not a trademark of mountain sports - or is it?

Of course, it is difficult to live an elitist sport, such as mountaineering, cosmopolitan and pluralistic in and of itself. But in the 21st century, I just expect more, obviously unfounded and certainly I expect too much there.

The Alpine clubs, specifically the DAV

Yes, maybe there is a "full-circle mentality", as the DAV mauls. But is not it also the DAV itself, which stirs the drum of alpine activity vigorously, which stimulates the development of mountain huts in order to meet consumer wishes as quickly and smoothly as possible? Hot shower and cold beer instead of stew and water on the mountain? Or does the DAV now want to abolish the insurance, which apparently promotes a certain unwanted behavior?

In one Contribution of 2017 In any case, Bernhard Kühnhauser of the DAV notes that, although the number of fatalities is steadily declining, the rescue due to obstruction and excessive demands is increasing. And, of course, does not seek the reason for that first in its own circle, but generally among the victims (respectively the rescued): "serious misjudgments of their own ability and the underestimation of alpine dangers", the "invitation character" of via ferrata and insured climbs or the anniversary rattle - and of course in the self-portrayal in the social media and the lack of touring descriptions of bloggers.

A little later, the author notes laconically that although it is stated in the statutes of the DAV that "the DAV has made it easier to travel the Alps", access may now have become "too easy for many" and therefore wants to immediately " mental barriers ". In addition to a few more such ideas, he then comes up with the idea of wanting to "reduce full-scale mentality". Thus, the DAV imagines that there are people on the road, who should think in his opinion: "the Alpine Club pays yes, if and (sic) get the mountain rescue" - and considers promptly, a "Deductible for salvage due to blocking and excessive demand" such as "full reimbursement of costs in case of gross negligence"Introduce.

Also in official press releases to the Bergunfallstatistuk from eg 25.7.2012 one reads about this "full Casomentality" of the DAV members. Here, in fact, something is being considered Ambiguity picked upthat every recovery of uninjured mountain athletes is indeed enjoyable, as well as worse consequences can be prevented - on the other hand, the "sinking threshold to drop an emergency call" complained.

The year before, on March 22, 2011, the DAV responded indignantly to the criticism of Mountain Guards from Mittelwald (who has perhaps brought the word of the all-cascading mind into the mountain sports language game): "Nobody will take a higher risk just because he has insurance" and states that the retrograde nature of AV member accidents "is clear proof that the risk awareness and the level of education of our members has increased. "So there is no reason to change the previous payment mode.

Of course, the press immediately makes headlines from anecdotes: Emergency calls without emergencies everywhere and constantly, these irresponsible mountaineers bring themselves and the rescuers without danger in greatest danger.

Yes, mountain rescue is a dangerous undertaking, also carried out by highly trained volunteers, and yet I dare say that rescuers face fewer threats when recovering a "non-emergency" than in "real" emergencies.

The argument that the rescuers for other, possibly more tragic emergencies are blocked for the recovery of simple blockages and exhaustions, of course, applies fully. However, this is a distribution problem that all emergency and rescue services need to accomplish and do well. This is one of the foundations of the rescue system, and many methods have evolved over time to adequately and professionally address this issue.

Last but not least, the comment (actually a question) is appropriate: the DAV brings with his expedition cadres Consciously regularly people in objective dangers. This raises the question: what are objective dangers, what is risk, which risk is acceptable - and closely interwoven with the question of risk: what is safety? Perhaps I discuss the subject of risk and uncertainty in another article, until then it is up to the reader himself to think about it.

The mountain guards

If we ask the Bergwacht Bayern itself on the subject of "risk", is a very different, enlightened, optimistic and much more philanthropic picture:

"The Bergwacht Bayern believes that it is normal and correct to be curious, daring and exploring in order to acquire the skills that our society needs to survive. Acquiring these skills threatens dangers and risks of injury. It is part of our mission to back up and support the performing human being in his adventures, which are often training sessions for the important tasks of life. "

positions"Mountain rescue Bavaria

In any case, the Bergwacht Bayern is happy about financial support and offers worldwide all-round support in an emergency:

What are the benefits of funding?

(...) In addition, you and your dependents are insured and will be brought back abroad in the event of an accident or illness as part of the DRK-AIR SERVICE. In case of emergency, a modern ambulance aircraft with an intensive care unit is available, depending on the medical emergency. Two pilots, an emergency ambulance and other medical personnel form a team that relocates and cares for you in a German hospital. So you do not have to worry about anything.
You can deduct the contribution as a donation fully from the tax.

From: Homepage Mountain Guard Bavaria / Mountain Guard GAP

Discussion and food for thought

At this point of the now somewhat tattered train of thought, I would like to summarize three discussion and food for thought:

  1. Behind a deductible or the complete assumption of costs hides the idea of the punishment of the victims as well as the fundamental and anticipatory questioning of the victim status. At the same time people are preferred who have the financial resources. The image of rich snuffles, who frolic in the mountains and simply fly out when they can not get any further, is still hardening. Those who are not well-endowed financially do not go on vacation and in the mountains. How often do you meet marginalized people in the mountains or in the huts, and those with little money? Exactly so you can cement existing conditions and get the wealthy desire clientele in the mountains. Do you want that?
  2. If the DAV actually drives a campaign for more self-reliant behavior in the mountains and "teaches people" not to resort to emergency calls as quickly, they inevitably risk having people in distress doing just that: consider whether they are the costs of an operation have grown at all. The numbers in the mountain accident statistics will then certainly tilt, and there are again fewer blockages and excessive demands listed - but certainly more deaths again. Because people are afraid to get help.

    But this is in stark contrast to the actual task of mountain rescue: to save people in distress.

    How one can seriously consider, to incorporate an inhibition threshold for calls for help artificially in the existing system, I am completely mistaken and also contradicts the view of the emergency services. They are always of the opinion that you should call for help as early as possible, and not only if you are overcooled, unable to move and with broken legs more dead than alive during thunderstorms in inaccessible terrain. Only by a timely cry for help also an overstretched or blocked mountain climber can namely be prevented, that he tries to save somehow for fear of high costs still somehow and thus ever deeper in the shit rides - possibly up to the deadly crash. Because the easier it is to salvage the mountain rescue service, the safer it is for the mountain rescuers.
  3. Last but not least: who decides what is the often-expressed, admonished, found fault and negligence? The mountain rescuers on site, the DAV in the committee, the judiciary, or perhaps the "common sense" of the person who writes the bill?

    Will then also be necessary for simple mountain hiking tours "conditionally resistant mountain boots" duty, so that in case of a case not because of "poor equipment" must take over the rescue operation? Does not a mandatory shoe sole profile depth measurement then make sense? Is it then over with this trail running and the totally underequipped sneakers on the mountain, which bring themselves and others completely dangerously in danger?

    Can we then finally let the mountain sports be complete and even better forbid it, because this fulfills actually no concrete social purpose, except perhaps the decadent Bespaßung the mountain sports themselves?

Is this discussion about mountain sports, risk and irrationality perhaps even an expression of a very special situation of society? Robert Pfaller, cultural scientist from Vienna, diagnosed the society already in 2008 Dirty sacred and pure reason: symptoms of contemporary culture a serious problem with unreasonableness, which is so completely uneconomical, a luxury that one is ashamed to last today.

In order to finally include something conciliatory in the discussion, I conclude my comment ... with completely unreasonable music!



  1. How true how true! I think every one of us has been put in jeopardy by a stupid mistake and hopefully learned something from it. Luckily, I never had to call the Mountain Guards, and I'd probably be one of those who would do it too late. Nobody can be saved recklessly. Hähme is completely inappropriate.

    • Thank you lecw for your comment and the hint that no one is armed against mistakes!

  2. Super commentary, which brings exactly the objectivity in the discussion, which has long been lost here.

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