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Prix Courage: People’s Choice Award goes to Zermatt

The two mountain rescuers Daniel Aufdenblatten and Richard Lehner from Zermatt received the Prix Courage People’s Choice Award on Friday, 9th September 2011.

“We are convinced that we did the right thing”, said Daniel Aufdenblatten, the helicopter pilot of Air Zermatt, at the awards ceremony in Zurich on Friday evening. Together with the mountain rescue specialist and mountain guide Richard Lehner, he accepted the People’s Choice Award of the Prix Courage. In contrast to the main prize, which is defined by a jury, the People’s Choice Award is based on an online poll, that ran for about two months and which was dominated by the two men from Zermatt.

The story went around the world
The popularity of the two heroes is based on a mountain rescue that was carried out in Nepal in April 2010 – an action that had been considered to be impossible up to now. Three Spanish mountaineers were able to be rescued by helicopter from an altitude of around 7,000 metres (approx 23,000 feet). The two men from Zermatt had already received the “Heroism Award”, the Oscar of the aviation world, for this rescue in the USA in March 2010. The story of this rescue action became known all around the world. “We have accepted this prize on behalf of all mountain rescuers”, says helicopter pilot Daniel Aufdenblatten again and again in interviews.

The Prix Courage of the Beobachter newspaper is awarded annually to persons who show exceptional dedication to something. The prize was awarded to four Jurassian environmentalists who prevented the construction of an auto test track on agricultural land.

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