Being outside is the order of the day. But many outdoor enthusiasts cause higher than average numbers of accidents due to a lack of practice and experience. Can this actually be proven statistically?
Fortunately, the numbers of serious accidents have remained relatively constant for years. Although significantly more people go into the mountains than before. Safety equipment and risk management for ski tours have even improved considerably - the number of avalanche victims has not risen sharply, even though the number of ski-tourers has increased considerably. The most common outdoor accidents are rather harmless in comparison: torn ligaments, knee injuries, things like that.
There are increasing reports of beginners on via ferrata routes who can no longer move forwards or backwards - or e-mountain bike riders who run out of juice in high alpine terrain and then alert the mountain rescue service by mobile phone.
And this is exactly what was not so common in the past. Unfortunately, blockades and overestimation of one's own capabilities are not only increasing on via ferrata routes, but also during supposedly easy hiking. And in the smartphone age, the inhibition threshold to dial 112 has fallen. In the past, it was not so easy to make an emergency call.
But were mountain lovers really more experienced 20 or 30 years ago?
I think so. Today, mountain sports trips around the globe - also with us - can be booked very easily. This promotes a certain service mentality and creates a sense of entitlement: you pay for something and get a benefit in return. But it's not that simple on the mountain. In the past, people slowly approached higher tasks. Today, some of them were already on Kilimanjaro, but cannot move safely in the pathless craggy terrain.
Things are moving a little too fast. On YouTube at home on your computer the Watzmann crossing looks easier than it is in the real mountain world. We also have to look at our own nose a little: All of us - alpine clubs, mountain schools and the outdoor industry - suggest how beautiful and easy it is to be on the road in the Alps.