A 32-year-old German climber has died in an avalanche on an Argentine mountain.
Robert Grasegger was climbing the Aguja Guillaumet (Guillaumet Needle) on the Fitz Roy mountain via the Fonrouge route with two friends when the snowslide struck on Thursday, 6th January.
One of the friends, German national Thomas Holler, emerged unscathed, while the other, Australian national Ana Truntshing, was hospitalised and is reportedly making good progress.
The three were experienced climbers and had already tackled peaks all over the world.
The area where they were found is considered of “medium” difficulty. However, a sudden avalanche of snow and rocks caused both Grasegger and Truntshing to fall from an as-yet unspecified height.
Holler, who was not swept away, was able to make his way to the Piedra del Fraile campground, where he sought the help of the Relief Commission.
Truntshing was found badly injured but still lucid hours after the accident, whereas Grasegger’s body was only located the following day at noon.
Truntshing, after receiving first aid, was taken to hospital, where she will reportedly undergo surgery on her spine.
She suffered a bilateral haemopneumothorax (air and blood in the chest cavity) and had to have a tube inserted. At the time of reporting, she was said to be in good spirits.
Grasegger had qualified as a guide with the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations in November.
He had also worked as a carpenter since 2013 and as a fireman and paramedic with the Munich Fire Department since 2017. He had qualified with the mountain rescue service in 2010.
Born in the village of Grainau, which lies at the foot of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, which stands at a height of 2,962 metres and marks the border with Austria, Grasegger was destined to be a climber from an early age.
In his profile on the German mountaineering website mountain-elements.com, Grasegger wrote: “The mountains cast a spell on me from early childhood.”
His last post on Instagram, where he has over 8,000 followers, was a photo of him ascending a snowy mountain with the caption: “New year, new look! Now I am…looking forward to new adventures!”
The removal of his body from a location of difficult access lasted 20 hours, and local media reported that his remains would be cremated in the Argentine city of Rio Gallegos.