Earlier this month, a massive group of students between the ages of 12-14 and the eight teachers accompanying them on what they thought was a casual afternoon trek had to be rescued when they realized they’d bit off way, way more than they could chew. The group was hiking to the summit of Walmendingerhorn, in the Austrian Alps, at an elevation of about 6,500 feet. One of the teachers on the hike researched a route and thought they’d found an older, but still serviceable trail that, from a brief internet search, looked doable, though the route was no longer signposted. Turns out, it was a route with big-time exposure requiring some alpine experience and proper climbing shoes. “The path is no longer in official tour guides… it was relatively difficult and exposed,” state police spokesman Wolfgang Duer told reporters, adding that for his staff, “the unusual part was the amount of people having to be rescued.”
In all, 107 people were plucked from the mountain by a rescue team some 60-people strong, including the local town’s mayor. Panic set among some of the students in once the teachers realized they were in a dangerous situation and called for help. “Several students were exhausted, chilled, wet and completely distraught,” local police said in a statement, adding that a crisis intervention team was brought in to help.