Scientist plunges to his death after hiking app leads him off cliff

A Russian scientist has fallen to his death after his hiking app allegedly led him over a cliff in Germany’s Berchtesgadener Alps National Park.

34-year-old Dr. Dmitry Fedyanin, who was born in Russia but lived in North Rhine-Westphalia, was hiking on August 12 in the park, known for peaks that reach up to 9,000 feet. Police believe he was using a navigation app to trek down to Gotzenalm near Koenigssee Lake, but was led down a route that had no paths, according to The Sun.

BR24 reported that the landlord of the building Fedyanin was renting a room in reported him missing to police when he noticed the bed had been unused. 

Mountain rescue efforts found his body at the bottom of Hoher Laafeld peak. Paramedics determined that he had died from head injuries he sustained during the fall.

Upper Bavarian Police spokesman Maximilian Maier said in a statement, "Our investigators assume that the male individual slipped in the rocky area which features some patches of grass. He then slid down at least 150 metres (492 feet)."

"It is understood that he had been around on his own. The involvement of any other person can be ruled out."

Fedyanin was a decorated researcher at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in Russia, serving as a senior research fellow focusing on "nanoscale and quantum optoelectronics for data-processing, communication, and sensing applications," and was awarded " the Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2011 and the European Material Research Society Young Scientist Award in 2012," according to his ResearchGate profile.

He is one of four hikers to die in the park in recent days.

On Saturday, a 29-year-old woman fell around 300 metres to her death on the Hochkalter due to a misstep, and a 49-year-old woman died of natural causes near the Neue Traunsteiner Hütte.

A 57-year-old woman who was out hiking with her husband slipped and fell "about 200 meters down the so-called Hammerstielwand" and died.


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