Ripon teacher Louise Atkinson dies in 100ft fall in Italian Dolomites after 'taking wrong route'

Louise Atkinson was walking with her partner John Dickinson in the popular Italian Dolomites when she fell on Sunday. Credit: Facebook

A woman who fell 100ft to her death while walking in the Italian Dolomites has been named as North Yorkshire teacher Louise Atkinson, it has been reported.

The 55-year-old, of North Stainley, near Ripon, is understood to have been trekking with her partner in the popular destination of Catinaccio, near the town of Bolzano, when she fell on Sunday 24 July.

The Daily Mail and Telegraph both reported mum-of-three Ms Atkinson, who worked at St Wilfred's Catholic Primary School, and her partner John Dickinson, 58, had taken a wrong route and found themselves on a 'via ferrata'.

A via ferrata course, which translates to iron path, is where experienced climbers are fixed to cables, rungs or ladders using specialist equipment.

An officer from the alpine rescue service of the Guardia di Finanza police reportedly told The Telegraph the pair took the wrong route and attempted to turn back.

Louise Atkinson was with her partner when they took a wrong route on the Catinaccio massif near the town of Bolzano, The Telegraph reported. Credit: Google Maps

“The British couple had intended to take the easy hiking path, the normal route. But instead they took the wrong trail and ended on a high-level via ferrata," they told the newspaper.

“That’s why she was not clipped onto an iron cable. She had none of the right equipment – no harness or karabiner or helmet, nothing. They realised their mistake and turned round, and at some point she fell.”

The newspaper also reported that the body of Ms Atkinson’s was recovered by alpine rescue specialists, with the help of a helicopter.

The Daily Mail described the teacher as a keen runner.

The Italian Dolomites are a popular destination for walkers and climbers. Credit: PA

Ms Atkinson's death came about a week after a 54-year-old hiker fell to his death nearby.

Earlier this month, an avalanche on the Dolomites killed nearly a dozen people when a huge chunk of ice detached from a melting glacier and sent a torrent of ice, rock and debris on to hikers below.

The latest Dolomites death is the second confirmed tragedy involving Britons in Italy in the last week.

It follows the death of businessman Aran Chada, a 51-year-old sales director from Leicestershire, who is thought to have had a seizure when he leapt from a boat into Lake Garda to save his young son from drowning.

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