Johann Westhauser, 52, has lain 1,000 metres underground since being injured in a rock fall last Sunday in the Riesending cave in the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden.
But on Sunday an international rescue team moved the cave researcher 350 metres in the first of four stages to bring him to the surface. Transporting Westhauser, who has a head injury, took “several hours”, Bavarian Mountain Rescue said.
And on Monday morning Westhauser, who works for the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, was moved up a steep cliff face to the second stage – known as the third bivouac. He will now be taken to the second and finally the first bivouac.
It took more than nine hours to move the explorer from the fourth to the third bivouac. He is now 700 metres below ground. Depending on the condition of their patient, doctors and rescuers hope to start moving Westhauser to the next stage on Monday afternoon.
Around 100 rescuers are currently in the cave, including doctors, and Bavarian Mountain Rescue said Westhauser remained in a stable condition.
On Monday Westhauser’s partner of four years told Bild newspaper that she would make him his favourite fruit cake and a cup of freshly brewed coffee when he got home.