Climber Disappears in the Alps Two Days Before Heading to Kangchenjunga

Hungarian mountaineer and extreme skier Akos Gyorffy is missing somewhere in the Monte Rosa massif, on the border between Italy and Switzerland. He was to leave in just two days to climb Kangchenjunga without supplemental oxygen.

Yesterday, when Gyorffy did not return from his solitary hiking trip on schedule, his family contacted Italian authorities. Gyorffy went to the eastern Pennines last Friday with his paraglider. He has been out of touch since Saturday.

The Monte Rosa massif.

The Monte Rosa massif. Photo: Tobias Bender


According to Italian sources, his last GPS signal was in the area of Capanna Gnifetti, at 3,647m. Rescuers think that the 36-year-old Gyorffy may have wanted to reach the Capanna Margherita refuge and paraglide from there. They fear that he may have fallen into a crevasse along the way.

Authorities found his car yesterday in Staffal, a town in Gressoney-La-Trinite. Local rescue teams started a helicopter search that same afternoon, but bad weather forced them back.

Ghiacciaio del Lys and Capanna Gnifetti.

Ghiacciaio del Lys and Capanna Gnifetti. Photo: Montagna TV


Today, search and rescuers continued the aerial search. They flew over both the Aosta Valley and the Piemonte sides, but there was no sign of the climber.

Helicopter searching

A helicopter searches for Akos Gyorffy. Photo: Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico Valdostano/Montagna TV


Gyorffy and his team had planned to travel to Nepal on April 8 to attempt 8,586m Kangchenjunga. It was to be in part a tribute to Hungarian alpinist Peter Kiss, who died with partner Zsolt Eross and three others on the mountain in 2013.

Akos Gyorffy.

Akos Gyorffy. Photo: Kalifa


Last summer, Gyorrfy became the first Hungarian to ski from the summit of 7,134m Ibn Sina (former Lenin Peak) in the Pamirs. Some weeks later, Gyorrfy attempted Manaslu without oxygen, but conditions forced him down.

Update, April 7. Today, rescuers and family decided to call off the search for Gyorrfy. No clues to the missing climber had turned up.

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.