Arth, 21.03.2023

Tragic mountain accident in the Rigi area

A serious mountain accident occurred at the foot of the Rigi on Sunday morning. A 56-year-old mountain walker from Canton Zug was crushed by a boulder weighing several hundred kilograms.

A serious mountain accident occurred in the steep terrain at the foot of the Rigi, just 400 metres above the motorway on Sunday morning. An ambulance and the emergency vehicle of the Schwyz rescue service were dispatched to Arth, but, unfortunately, all help came too late.

The Schwyz police reported in the afternoon: "Two mountain walkers were heading uphill from Arth on the Guggähürliweg after 10.30 a.m. They intended to take a shortcut over steep terrain." According to the police, one of the two men wanted to cross a large boulder when it came loose and trapped the man. The second walker became aware of the man's cries for help and tried to free him.

The Nagelflug rock became the undoing of the two walkers  
The emergency services reached the scene of the accident via a forest road         Photo: Geri Holdener, Bote der Urschweiz
The location of the accident.           Google Earth     


Together with third persons from a nearby barbecue site who were called in, the Nagelfluh stone, which weighed several hundred kilos, was easily lifted and the 56-year-old man was freed. "Despite rapid medical assistance, the man from the canton of Zug succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the accident," reported the Schwyz Cantonal Police.

As is usual in serious incidents of this kind, the Public Prosecutor's Office in Schwyz came to the scene. Among other things, forensic medical clarifications must be carried out to determine the exact cause of death.

Members of the Arth fire brigade were called in to secure the site of the accident. The loose boulder was professionally secured to a tree on the slope with straps and a rope. This was the only way to ensure safe recovery work without risking it rolling away and causing a secondary accident. The emergency services used a nearby forest road to reach the scene of the accident site. The forest road, which is occasionally used by walkers, remained closed during the operation. The victim's companion was not injured, and is receiving psychological care.