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Success story for Air Zermatt continues

The story of the two Zermatt mountain rescuers, Daniel Aufdenblatten and Richi Lehner, continues. In the USA in March 2011, they received the Heroism Award for their mountain rescue of two alpinists on Annapurna. In the meantime, they have given countless interviews and been omnipresent in the Swiss media. And they are still much in demand as interview partners. 

“We’re not heroes, we just did our job,” says helicopter pilot Daniel Aufdenblatten. He has no doubt repeated this statement 100 times, either into a radio microphone or in front of film camera. Richi Lehner, mountain guide specializing in mountain rescue adds: “Thanks to being well prepared, everything went like clockwork at the time.” Also repeated 100 times. 

At the beginning of March 2011, the pair from Zermatt received the award for the highest-altitude rescue ever, performed in 2010 in the Himalayas at almost 7000 metres. With their Heroism Award, the “Aviation Oscar”, they have not only become ambassadors for Air Zermatt and Zermatt mountain rescue, but also for the entire Zermatt – Matterhorn tourist destination. Because the world needs heroes, they epitomize competence and safety. Values often sought but seldom found. The two mountain rescuers are a symbol of Air Zermatt’s 40 years of experience, for the know-how of the Alpine Rescue Centre and all Zermatt mountain guides. The two heroes are well aware of their role and so remain modest. At the award ceremony Dani Aufdenblatten said: “We accept this award on behalf of all the mountain rescuers in the world.”
Their success was reported in the media in Switzerland, Nepal, the USA and Spain, as well as in mountaineering and aviation magazines and Internet portals on mountains. And it goes on: more TV appearances are to follow and the pair has also received an invitation to the Swiss Economic Forum. In July, Swiss Radio will present several programmes in the series “Chruz&Quer” on the topic of “Safety and rescue in the mountains”, including live sequences from the Air Zermatt helicopter base.


Daniel Aufdenblatten and Richi Lehner in Nepal during their missions.

Rescues with a longline have been developed and perfected by Air Zermatt specialists in the course of 40 years’ experience.

Zermatt Tourismus | Tel +41 27 966 81 00 | info@zermatt.ch