A "full speed" search is underway for one of Germany's richest men, heir to the Tengelmann supermarket chain, who failed to return from a solo ski excursion in the Swiss Alps on Saturday. An experienced skier, Karl-Erivan Haub was training for a race when he set off from the Matterhorn on the Swiss-Italian border at an altitude of 12,470 feet, about 2,000 feet below the summit, report Sky News and the Telegraph. He never returned to his resort. His family, with a fortune valued at $3.7 billion, "has made unlimited resources available to the search teams, but in these conditions they're useless," says a mountain rescue official in Italy, noting bad weather and a risk of avalanche have hindered efforts.
The official adds the 58-year-old US-born billionaire, head of Tengelmann since 2000, was skiing in an area with glaciers and may have fallen into a crevasse. The Haub family, still grieving the unexpected death of 85-year-old patriarch Erivan Haub in Wyoming last month, says they're prepared for the worst, per Deutsche Welle. But "my brother is a very experienced ski mountaineer, so despite the time that has passed since [his disappearance] we aren't giving up hope of finding him soon," Christian Haub said in a letter to employees. Deutsche Welle reports his brother was training to compete in the long-distance Patrouille des Glaciers ski race, organized by the Swiss army. It begins on Tuesday. (Read more Alps stories.)