Swiss base-jumping mecca unveils memorial to dead thrill seekers


The Lauterbrunnen parish has inaugurated a memorial dedicated to base-jumpers and mountaineers who lost their lives in the pursuit of adventure and adrenalin. 

This content was published on May 16, 2021 - 16:19

The memorial comprising two stone slabs and a plaque was unveiled at the Lauterbrunnen cemetery on Saturday. The parish had been planning to commission such a memorial for a long time. In Switzerland it is estimated that over 80 people lost their lives practicing the adventure sport between 2000 and 2020, of which almost 60 perished in the Lauterbrunnen valley. 

There are several private memorials scattered across the valley that sometimes contain personal effects of the deceased like sunglasses or helmets. 

“That can put a lot of strain on a place, as beautiful as it is,” Walter von Allmen, the president of the parish told Swiss broadcaster SRF. There is apprehension that the proliferation of such private memorials would portray Lauterbrunnen as a valley of death. This is what prompted the parish to commission an official memorial for victims of accidents in the mountains and valley.

The memorial is not just for base jumpers though but is meant to pay homage to all casualties of accidents in the Lauterbrunnen valley. According to the pastor Markus Tschanz, it is important for the local community to show that these deaths do not leave them indifferent.

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