Two British tourists who were climbing the Matterhorn in Italy have been found dead.
The report from BBC News says the two British tourists had been missing for a few days before Italian authorities discovered their bodies near the famed mountain that straddles Italy and Switzerland.
“They said both bodies were found in a ravine at an altitude of 4,000m.
“A search and rescue effort began late on Thursday, but emergency services were hampered by bad weather on Friday.
“It is believed that the pair, who have not been named, were surprised by unseasonably cold weather, and reports suggest one was wearing light clothing.
“A member of the Italian mountain rescue said: ‘We have had a rapid change in the weather.’
“On Thursday afternoon and overnight into Friday we had a lot of storms with snows in the high altitudes.”
While the deaths are a tragedy, it is not the first time the bodies of hikers have been discovered in the mountains of Italy and Switzerland or in other countries. In the United States, hikers found a body north of Phoenix just last month and reported it to authorities there.
“The deceased man was said to be in his 30s, and police think it may have been a suicide,” AZ Central reported. “The body was found near Seventh and Peoria avenues, the spokeswoman said. North Mountain Park is nearby.”
In that instance, Phoenix police told the news outlet that the body was not fresh but instead had “been there a while.”
And while the Phoenix suicide is terrible, one has to think the Matterhorn case is more terrifying since the British hikers in that situation were not looking to end their lives but instead of filed the appropriate guide information with Italian authorities and were trying to be safe.
A story as terrifying as the one with the British tourists found dead at the Matterhorn happened in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where a man hiking in the Canadian Rockies fell to his death in a local national park.
According to CBC News, the man from Calgary fell a few hundred feet to his death at Yoho National Park.
“‘It’s believed that the male lost his footing, falling approximately 200 metres.’
“RCMP said a Canadian Forces helicopter flying in the area responded shortly after the man’s three male friends activated a personal locator beacon.
“Police and emergency responders waited for the helicopter in Golden, B.C., but the hiker died before it arrived.”
If you are hiking, what should you do to avoid becoming like the British tourists who died or the Calgary man who fell to his death during a hike at a local national park? According to Active.com, the first thing you should do before any difficult hike is to do your research. Make sure you know how difficult of a climb you are expecting.
Another tip from the website is to give yourself time to complete the hike without possibly facing a life or death struggle. Or even facing the challenge of being stuck overnight because you did not make it back to the car in time.
“Also be sure to plan your hike so that you don’t get caught in the dark. Take note of your total planned mileage and try to be realistic about how long it will take you,” Active reports. “It’s never fun when you’re forced to run back or push the pace on a hot day.”
Other suggestions so you don’t end up in a situation like the dead British tourists at the Matterhorn or the deceased Calgary man include: pack the necessities and pack light, remember to prepare for extreme conditions (heat and cold), and be aware of your environment.
What other tips should hikers keep in mind?
[Photo by Mike Powell/Getty Images]