Norwegian rescuers find missing Dutch group in good cond.
A group of Dutch hikers that went missing in the Norse mountains were found in good condition, Norwegian newspaper Gudbrandsdølen Dagningen reported late Friday afternoon. The group of 13 will be transported to a safer area, likely the village of Grotli, rescue operations leader Hallgrim Ous told the paper.
They were discovered sometime after 3 p.m. The snowshoe hikers, of which only two were experienced, found shelter in a cabin in the area where they set off a distress signal Friday morning. Weather conditions in the mountainous region was said to be particularly windy and snowy.
It is not clear how long it will take to complete the rescue effort because of the difficulties in reaching the cabin. A combination of snowcats and snowmobiles will be used to transport the Dutch tourists. It is expected that they will still have to hike some of the distance on foot, the newspaper stated.
At around 12:00 p.m. the police of nearby village Grotli told the Volkskrant that the rescuers were about an hour away from the spot where the emergency call came from. The search is going very slowly, due to the bad weather. During the night 30 to 40 centimeters of snow fell, and it was still snowing Friday afternoon. Temperatures were between -5 and -10 degrees.
The Norway rescue brigade received several distress signals from the mountainous area Skjak near the Gudbrand Valley. The last contact the Red Cross had with the group, according to the Volkskrant, was at 8:30 a.m. At around 10:30 a.m. "a kind of confirmation of their location" was received. There is a very high risk of avalanches in the area.
The reason for the emergency calls is still unclear. The Norway officials expect to know more about what happened, and the condition of the hikers, once they arrive at the site.
The missing Dutch are a group of friends between the ages of 25 and 40 years. Only two of them are experienced hikers, according to the newspaper. They've been hiking in the mountainous area since Sunday.
Fred Geers, a expert on Norway, said to RTL Nieuws that the Dutch group is in an area where regular hikes are made between huts. It's not common for people to get into trouble there, he said. "Sending a distress signal is not something you do quickly. I find it a frightening situation, precisely because the Norwegians, who are used to much, can not get to the site by helicopter." Two helicopters were deployed in the search, but had to return due to the weather conditions.