Allegedly Drunk Guide Loses 60 Hikers in Austrian Alps

Hungarian tour group rescued by emergency services
Rax Mountains

The Rax Alps (Photo by Lukas Lalinsky

A Hungarian guide who abandoned some 60 hikers last Saturday in Austria's Rax Mountains may have been drunk, according to local authorities.

The group, made up of tourists from Hungary, set out on a day hike to Preiner Gscheid pass at around 3 p.m. local time on Saturday. The hikers were eating lunch after about half an hour on the trail when they realized their tour guide was missing.

Unable to get their bearings, and with bad weather moving in, the group decided to call Austrian Mountain Rescue Services. The caller told authorities that his family was lost, and that his drunk tour guide had disappeared. 

Twelve rescue team members eventually reached the group and led them down without trouble.

On their way back down the mountain, the rescue team and hikers ran into the tour guide walking down the mountain by himself. He denied drinking, and since there were no injuries, police did not test him.

In an interview with local newspaper Krone Zeitungen, mountain rescue expert Gerhard Rieglthalner said that the group's leader "was unprofessional and he was not a trained mountain guide."