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Tourist dies after falling 300 feet while climbing ladder bridge at popular Instagram spot

Tom Wood

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Tourist dies after falling 300 feet while climbing ladder bridge at popular Instagram spot

Featured Image Credit: k5hu/Getty Images

A British man has died after falling 300 feet from at a climbing spot popular with Instagrammers.

The 42-year-old man died after plummeting to the ground at a place that is colloquially known as the ‘Stairway To Heaven’ because it spans a huge precipice.

The area, set in the beautiful Austrian mountains, is a hotspot for tourists seeking to get a perfect Instagram picture in the idyllic surroundings, but the actual climb is by no means one for absolute beginners.

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The spot features a ladder bridge that goes between two rocky outcrops in the Dachstein mountain range.

The ladder goes 130 feet across, with a 300 foot drop beneath, connecting the Donnerkogel mountain to the Großer – Greater – area of the mountain, which boasts a peak that stands at 6,740 feet tall.

The 'stairway to heaven' climb in Austria. Credit: k5hu/Getty
The 'stairway to heaven' climb in Austria. Credit: k5hu/Getty

The police are investigating the circumstances that led to the man’s death, but it has not been treated as suspicious and is believed to have been an accident.

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Rescue teams were unable to save the man after his fall, and his body was removed from the deep ravine beneath the ladder, which is part of a Via Ferrata, or ‘Iron Path’.

There are popular Via Ferrata in Italy, France, Slovenia, and France, as well as in Austria.

According to MailOnline, a police spokesperson said: "According to the conclusion of the police investigation, it is clearly an accident."

It is believed that the man was on his own at the time of the fall. His identity has not yet been released.

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On the area’s tourist website, the ladder is described as a ‘new TOP attraction on the Zwieselalm for climbing enthusiasts’.

The climb to the ladder takes place across four stages, with the final crossing of the expanse offering climbers ‘the ultimate adrenaline kick’.

The Via Ferrata is a long climb that features metal cables, ladders, pegs, and rungs that climbers are harnessed to in order to keep them safe.

It’s definitely not one for the faint-hearted.

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The Dachstein Mountains are popular with tourists and climbers alike. Credit: Isabella R. Gerich/500 px/Getty
The Dachstein Mountains are popular with tourists and climbers alike. Credit: Isabella R. Gerich/500 px/Getty

The man’s body was recovered by police officers from two police departments in the area, utilising assistance from two helicopters.

Thousands of adrenaline junkies have shared their photographs from the ‘stairway to heaven’, which is rated as a ‘moderate/difficult climb’ and ‘not idea’ for those without any climbing experience.

In 2020, extreme athlete Stefanie Millinger took a famous photograph whilst balancing on the ‘ladder’ wearing a ballet outfit.

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The Dachstein Mountains are just one part of the Northern Limestone Alps, featuring 439 named mountains.

Topics: News, UK News, World News

Tom Wood
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