High altitude robbery! Daring thieves are risking lives to scale a 7,700ft Swiss Col, considered one of the toughest climbs in the world – just to steal cash from an isolated donation box.
- A group crossed gorges using steel cables to attack a box belonging to the climbing club
Thieves have risked their lives to scale a Swiss mountain pass just to steal cash from an isolated donation box in a daring high-altitude heist.
The group reached 7,710ft and traversed gorges to tackle the box, which is owned by a local climbing club that maintains the route.
Switzerland’s longest protected climbing route, at the Gemmi Pass above the village of Loèche-les-Bains, is rated level 5, the most difficult, and is considered one of the most difficult in the country.
This requires some serious climbing and scaling ladders attached to the vertical rock face, as well as traversing the gorges using thin steel cables, which means the donation box is only accessible for experienced climbers.
“What kind of people are these? wrote the climbing club on its Facebook page.
A mountaineer crossing the gorges of the Col de la Gemmi. The group reached 7,710 feet to attack the box, owned by a local climbing club, which maintains the course.
The donation box was found smashed and emptied of all its money. Those involved used “brute force” to access the box with tools, the climbing club said.
The climbing club posted a furious message on the via ferrata’s official Facebook page
“The climbing club takes care of the via ferrata without pay, we don’t ask for anything and now someone has stolen the money given to maintain it.”
The donation box was found smashed and emptied of all its money.
Those involved used “brute force” to access it with tools, the climbing club said.
It appears they then took the money with them on their ascent to the 9,648ft Dauberhorn summit. the bbc reports.
Those who discovered the theft believe it had been planned for a long time.
The route has had ideal climbing conditions for the past few days, so it can be difficult to track down the culprits.
The climbing club does not know the exact amount of the theft, but club member and mountain guide Richard Werlen told the BBC it was probably at least 400 to 500 Swiss francs ($359 to £449).
Cash is still regularly used in the country and the Swiss take pride in their voluntary work maintaining hiking trails and climbing routes, which is why many hikers are happy to donate.