Tourist gets luxury BMW wedged on narrow hiking trail after trusting GPS

Wooden 'no vehicles beyond this point' sign on trail
(Image credit: Getty)

A man has been left with a hefty repair bill after getting his BMW Alpina B3 Touring wedged on a narrow hiking trail in Austria. The 77-year-old, who was visiting from Germany, ran into trouble last week when he ignored road signs and warnings from hikers, instead putting all his faith in his sat-nav system. 

As reports, he carried along the narrowing trail until his hefty performance estate car eventually became stuck between a railing and a rock wall.

Two local fire departments came to the rescue, and the man and his passengers were safely freed. The car wasn't so fortunate, and the left-hand side suffered significant damage from the railing.

Local news site Rosenheim 24 reports that the driver was given a breathalyzer test, which was negative, and allowed to continue along a safe route.

Stick with maps

GPS navigation systems often struggle in mountainous areas, where radio signals can bounce off cliffs, resulting in a phenomenon called GPS drift. Preinstalled maps may also give insufficient detail of geological features. 

Last week, search and rescue teams in the UK warned hikers not to rely on Google Maps after saving a man who had spent the night in freezing conditions on a mountain after attempting to navigate using his phone.

A spokesperson for Wasdale Mountain Rescue team said that the man was very lucky to have survived after spending so long outdoors suffering foot injuries and hypothermia.

"We also have to say that Google Maps on smartphones are not suitable for navigating on the hills," the team added. "They lack detail and of course will not work with a flat battery. There is no substitute for a map and compass and being able to use them. They can save one’s life."

For advice, see our guides to how to use a compass, how to take a bearing, and how to triangulate.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.