A German businessman and the head of the Tengelmann retail group, Karl-Erivan Haub, who is said to be an experienced skier, went missing in the Swiss Alps on Saturday. The rescue team is hoping for a miracle, German magazine Spiegel reported.
The search area covers the ski resort of Matterhorn, namely the Italian part.
"I hope for a good weather break on Friday. The search is very difficult, the area is very large and the tracks are blurred," Walter Milan, a spokesman for the Italian rescue team, was quoted by the magazine as saying.
Haub's family members are trying not to lose heart and are hoping for a positive outcome.
"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, who runs the Tengelmann group together with Karl-Erivan, wrote in a letter accessed by German newspaper Handelsblatt.
The last time, the 58-year-old Haub was seen on Saturday was when he was on his way to a Klein Matterhorn mountain station located 3,820 meters above sea level. Rescuers believe that there is still a chance to find him.
"A miracle might happen, but the weather isn't helping," Milan said, adding that avalanche transceivers that many skiers carry with them and that could prove useful in case of such incidents send signals only for a limited time.
The Klein Matterhorn is a peak of the Pennine Alps, located in the Swiss canton of Valais and bordering on Italy. It is the highest place in Europe and a popular ski area.
The Tengelmann group is a holding company that owns several supermarket chains and other enterprises in Germany. Karl-Erivan Haub's family is one of the wealthiest in the country. It also ranked 265th in the Forbes magazine's international rich list.