The first nine months of this year saw 91 deaths from mountain sports in the Swiss Alps, which is 24 fewer than the same period in 2016. The Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) says the reduction is most likely caused by a mild winter and frequently inclement weather during summer weekends.
Rescue operators also had to conduct fewer operations to save stricken people in the mountains. A total of 2,244 people called for help between January and September, down 204 from the corresponding period last year.
There were fewer emergencies among people enjoying the classic mountain sports such as hiking, climbing and ski touring. But there were more injuries in other sports, such as mountain biking. However, the number of fatalities was lower across almost all categories.
One exception was hiking, where there were more fatalities (43) in the first nine months of 2017, compared to 33 by the same time last year. The worst fatal hiking accident took place in the Bergell region of canton Graubünden where eight hikers went missing in a landslide near to the village of Bondo.
All eight remain unaccounted for several months later and are presumed dead.