The incident involving a 38-year-old Austrian climber happened around Monday lunchtime on the Hoher Sonnblick mountain on the border between the states of Carinthia and Salzburg.
According to mountain rescue services, the Austrian had been climbing at around 3,050 metres above sea level when he lost his footing and fell 800 meters before coming to a halt at around 2250 metres.
Photo: Neufang / Bergrettung Hofgastein
He received serious injuries to his face and legs but a helicopter rescue team was quickly on the scene to airlift the man to hospital.
Mountain rescuer Robert Silbergasser told the ORF that strong winds had made the flight difficult.
“And if you saw the site of the fall, then you could believe in a thousand guardian angels. It is almost a miracle. We are very happy that the man survived,” he said.
Experts say that the particularly soft snow may have contributed to the man’s survival as a hard surface would have likely been fatal.
The Tauern area where the incident happened has becoming increasingly popular recently with off-piste ski tourers and freeriders, despite warnings that they should be avoided due to a high chance of avalanches in the wet snow conditions.