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Drunk tourist in the Alps accidentally climbs mountain instead of returning to hotel

The Estonian, known as 'Pavel', took refuge in a mountaintop bar

The tourist climbed up a ski run instead of making for his hotel in Cervinia
The tourist climbed up a ski run instead of making for his hotel in Cervinia

An Estonian tourist in the Alps had a lucky escape at the weekend when he got drunk and climbed a mountain instead of returning to his hotel.

The twentysomething tourist, known only as “Pavel”, had indulged in some après-ski at Cervinia, a resort in Italy’s Valle d’Aosta. Wearing shoes rather than skis, he set off towards his hotel on a snowy street – only he took the wrong one, ending up on a ski run heading up the mountainside.

It is believed the tourist didn’t notice his mistake even once the “street” took a steep turn upwards, and continued up the ever more steep piste, known as the Ventina.

At some point between 2 and 3am, La Stampa reports, still climbing, he noticed a chalet on the horizon – Igloo, a bar and restaurant located above Cervinia at an altitude of 2,400m. Armed only with his hotel room key, Pavel managed to break in and take shelter for the night.

He was found in the morning by staff, having drunk two bottles of water to allay his hangover and passed out on a bench layered with cushions.

A search party – of fire brigade, police and drones – had already been sent out to look for the tourist before he was found, and local police have said that although Pavel will be fined for his night on the slopes, he will not be charged.

“Everything went well for him,” Igloo’s owner, Alessandro Zavattaro, told La Stampa. “It’s not that cold.”

Pavel has yet to comment.

The tourist had a lucky escape. Last weekend, three skiers were killed in the Swiss Alps after an avalanche hit a party of five heading to the Aletsch glacier.

Late snowfall this year has meant that the season is still going strong.

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