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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Babia Góra. The tourist “walrus” found snow in shorts. Rescue operation of the Beskidzka GOPR Group

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The tourist was alone, did not inform anyone about his situation, and did not have any clothing or equipment that could help him keep warm. He went to Babia Góra in very difficult conditions – GOPR rescuers describe a man they found on the top of the mountain in the snow. Apart from his shoes, hat and gloves, he was only wearing short shorts.

December 14, Babia Góra in the Żywiec Beskids, the highest peak in Poland after Rysy. Tourist conditions? On that day, as described by rescuers from the Beskidzka GOPR Group, there was a second degree of avalanche danger. It was snowing at the top and freezing rain below. It was windy and visibility was limited to a few meters.

– During a routine patrol, rescuers came across an extremely cold “walrus” – says Grzegorz Gawkowski from the Beskidzka Grupoy GOPR.

It was several minutes after 2 p.m. The tourist was lying on the peak in the snow. “He was close to losing consciousness, in difficult contact, on the verge of degree 3 hypothermia. He was only wearing short shorts, a thin hat and gloves, and low shoes,” the goprists describe on social media.

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Goprowiec rescued a tourist “walrus” on Babia GóraBeskidzka GOPR Group

Four hours of fighting for a tourist’s life. They warmed him with their own bodies

Goprists started “fighting to maintain the tourist’s vital functions.” They set up a rescue tent and created a heating point where they gradually warmed the man – “with their own body, additional clothing, chemical heaters and warm drinks.”

Goprowiec rescued a tourist “walrus” on Babia GóraBeskidzka GOPR Group

At that time, a rescuer with an SKED stretcher and equipment used to transport people suffering from hypothermia set off from Markowe Szczawiny, located below Babia Góra.

The patrol also asked rescuers from the Babia Góra operational section for support.

At 4:10 p.m., the transport of the tourist on a stretcher through the Brona Pass began. “From the pass, he was lowered using rope techniques to the so-called Zapałowicz Bivouac. Then he was transported by scooter with a trailer to Markowe Szczawiny and then by GOPR ambulance to Zawoja Markowa, where at 5:30 p.m. he was handed over to the Medical Rescue Team,” we read on the GOPR website.

The rescue expedition lasted almost four hours. 15 goprists took part in it.

Goprowiec rescued a tourist “walrus” on Babia GóraBeskidzka GOPR Group

He didn’t inform anyone himself, he didn’t take any clothes – he could have died

“We try not to judge the behavior of tourists and not to comment on the causes of accidents – these are often complex issues – write goprists. – In this case, however, we must strongly emphasize the irresponsible behavior of the man, which could certainly have cost him his life,” they add. And they will list the mistakes the man has made.

First, he was alone and did not inform anyone about his situation.

Second, he had no clothing or equipment to help him stay warm.

Thirdly, he went to Babia Góra in very difficult conditions.

“He was probably wandering in the summit dome for a long time and cooled down so much that his state of consciousness no longer allowed him to call for help (even though he had a phone with him). Information obtained by rescuers shows that the tourist was an experienced “walrus” – he has been completing mountain peaks in this style for a long time, he had also been to Babia Góra before,” rescuers found out.

The example shows that in the mountains, especially in winter, where weather conditions change very quickly, experience is not enough. As goprists point out, “moving in the higher parts of the Beskids requires considerable experience, appropriate equipment, and, above all, prudence and responsibility. For yourself and for others.”

Goprowiec rescued a tourist “walrus” on Babia GóraBeskidzka GOPR Group

Main photo source: Beskidzka GOPR Group

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