High-altitude heist! Daring thieves risk lives to scale 7,700ft Swiss mountain pass named one of world’s toughest climbs – just to steal cash from isolated donation box
- Group traversed gorges using steel cables to raid box owned by 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 raid the box owned by a local climbing club, which maintains the route, known as one of the country’s most challenging.
Switzerland’s longest protected climbing route on the Gemmi pass above Leukerbad village is classed as level 5, the hardest.
It requires serious climbing and scaling ladders that are secured to the vertical rock face, as well traversing gorges using thin steel cables, which means that the donation box is accessible only to skilled climbers.
‘What kind of people are these?’ the climbing club wrote on its Facebook page.
A climber traversing the gorges on the Gemmi pass. The group reached 7,710ft to raid the box, owned by a local climbing club, which maintains the route
The donation box was found smashed and drained 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 official Facebook page of the via ferrata
‘The climbing club looks after the via ferrata for no salary, we don’t ask for anything, and now someone has stolen the money donated to maintain it.’
The donation box was found smashed and drained of all its money.
Those involved used ‘brute force’ to access it with tools, the climbing club said.
It appears that they then took the cash with them on their ascent to the summit of the Dauberhorn, at 9,648 feet, the BBC reports.
Those who discovered the theft believe it was planned some time in advance.
The route has experienced ideal climbing conditions over the last few days, so it may be difficult to track down the culprits.
The climbing club does not know the exact amount stolen, but club member and mountain guide Richard Werlen told the BBC it was probably at least 400 to 500 Swiss francs (£359-449).
Cash is still used regularly in the country and the Swiss are proud of their voluntary work maintaining hiking paths and climbing routes, so many hikers are happy to oblige.