With “extraordinary luck” a mountaineer in New Zealand survived a 600 meter fall. As police said on Monday, he landed on snow and only sustained minor injuries.

According to police spokesman Vaughan Smith, the man was with a group on the way to the summit of Mount Taranaki, which is over 2,500 meters high, on Saturday afternoon when he lost his footing and fell into the depths. For comparison: At 386 meters, the Berlin television tower is only a little more than half as high as the crash site on Mount Taranaki, which was 600 meters. Thanks to the local spring weather, however, the ice had softened and the snow softened his fall. “He’s extremely lucky to be alive,” Smith said.

“After another member of the group observed their fellow climber sliding down the mountain and out of sight, they (the fellow climbers; editor’s note) climbed down to try to find him,” police said after the successful rescue operation . Coincidentally, a member of the Taranaki Alpine Rescue – a mountain rescue team – was also climbing that day and also helped locate and ultimately rescue the man who fell.

Mount Taranaki on New Zealand’s North Island is one of the country’s “deadliest mountains,” according to the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council. Because of the year-round risk of avalanches and low temperatures, the nature conservation agency recommends “special preparation and skills” before climbing the mountain.

When climbing there, “something goes wrong, it often has serious consequences,” Smith said. Just two years ago, two mountaineers had fatal accidents in the same area.

Sources: BBC, AFP, New Zealand Herald