Details released this week show that the mountain rescue branch of the Guardia Civil performed 892 procedures in 2013, resulting in the successful rescue of 2,618 people unharmed, plus another 475 who had been injured. Tragically, they also recovered the bodies of 94 people who had lost their lives.

Surprisingly, it is the seemingly least risky activity that saw the most incidents, with trips and falls whilst hiking being number 1. Hikers with a lack of technical experience, and who overestimate their chances, are said to be the greatest risk.

Foreigners account for over 14% of those involved in rescues, but Spanish city dwellers are also significant. Of those rescued by the corps, 12.98% reside in Madrid, the second most popular group, with third place taken by Barcelona residents, representing 7.85%.

The highest number of accidents occurred in the region of Aragon with 39.01%, followed by Andalusia with 12.78% and the Balearic Islands with 11.55%.

These accidents occur mainly by walkers overestimating their ability to cope with the activity and not planning properly, and, in many cases, a lack of physical and technical preparation for the activity, especially not paying attention to the weather predictions of the Spanish met office, advising not to partake in such activities.

The mountain rescue operation consists of 26 operational units across Spain, with their headquarters in Jaca, Huesca.

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