Two Polish climbers killed in High Tatra mountains


Two young Polish climbers have fallen to their deaths in Slovakia’s High Tatra mountains amid high winds and heavy snow, the local rescue service said.

Slovakia’s mountain rescue service said its team “found two bodies of Polish climbers (aged 27 and 25 years)”, on Saturday afternoon near the 2,558 metre-high Kežmarský peak, according to a statement.

Strong winds and very low visibility due to falling snow had initially prevented rescue helicopters from approaching the area.

“After multiple flight attempts, rescuers returned to their base in Stary Smokovec, where they collected several groups of rescue brigades and deployed them by helicopters to all sides of the Kežmarský peak,” the mountain rescue service said in a statement on Saturday evening.

The climbers had set out on Friday but it was not clear which route up the popular but demanding peak they had intended to attempt.

Their bodies were found in “avalanche terrain” under a rock wall in the Great Ice Valley, the rescue service said.

The High Tatras straddle the Slovakia-Poland border. The highest peak is Gerlachovský at 2,655m (8,711 ft).