Image: Bjarki Sigursveinsson, CC 2.0

“We had to get down on our hands and knees to reach them”

 In Nature & Travel, News, Society

Search and Rescue was called out in Ísafjörður last night to aid two local men who became stranded while hiking up Kirkjubólshlíð mountain, just above the Ísafjörður airport. RÚV reports that both men were eventually brought to safety, but one of them was stuck on the mountainside for six hours before rescuers could reach him.

ICE-SAR was called out to assist the men around 11.00pm on Saturday night. Jón Arnar Gestsson, who led the rescue efforts, said that the hikers got into trouble after straying off of established trails, as they’d taken a steep and snowy route toward the top of the mountain, but didn’t have the proper equipment.

“We had to get down on our hands and knees to crawl up the mountain to reach them,” Jón Arnar said. Although rescuers were able to reach one of the hikers fairly quickly, they weren’t able to establish exactly where the second man was located. They were able to call to him, but he was stuck so far up the snowy mountain that rescuers determined it wouldn’t be safe to proceed on foot.

A Coast Guard helicopter was then called out to assist in rescue efforts at 5.00am on Sunday morning and shortly afterwards, the second man was rescued, cold and frightened, but otherwise unharmed.

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Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson