British teacher fell 100ft to death in Italian mountains after ‘taking wrong turn’

Pair did not have safety equipment needed for treacherous route they accidentally embarked on

Jane Dalton
Friday 29 July 2022 00:58 BST
<p>An alpinist climbs a via ferrata in northwestern Italy</p>

An alpinist climbs a via ferrata in northwestern Italy

A British holidaymaker fell 100ft to her death in the Italian mountains when she and her partner accidentally took a wrong path.

Teacher Louise Atkinson, 55, and John Dickinson, 58, from Yorkshire, were descending a mountain in the Dolomites when she lost her balance.

The couple, who have three adult children, had realised they had taken the wrong route and had turned back when tragedy struck.

They reportedly were not wearing the safety equipment needed for that route, which was along a “via ferrata” – an iron way, where climbers normally use iron cords, rungs and ladders.

Mr Dickinson called rescuers after Ms Atkinson fell and hit her head on rocks.

An air ambulance crew found her body in the Catinaccio massif near the town of Bolzano in the north of the country.

An alpine rescue official said the route was not particularly challenging but the couple may have been out of their depth.

The estimated completion time of that route is five hours, and climbers should be fitted with a harness, helmets and two carabiners – special shackles - with one attached to a rung.

“The couple had intended to take the easy hiking path, the normal route. But they took the wrong trail and ended on a high-level via ferrata,” the official said.

“That’s why she was not clipped onto an iron cable. She had none of the right equipment.

“They realised their mistake, turned round and at some point she fell.”

Just days earlier, a 55-year-old tourist died hiking in the mountain range, after he lost his grip along the Santner via ferrata.

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