A 23-year-old man from the US thought a trek up one of Norway’s most distinctive mountain peaks, Gaustatoppen, would amount to a quick afternoon hike. He ended up getting stranded on the steep, rocky mountainside in Telemark County and had to call for help in the middle of the night.
“Around midnight I understood I was lost,” Andrew Hanlon told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “I had to sit down on a ledge because it was slippery and I couldn’t go any farther. I tried to use my whistle to attract attention, then I tried my phone.”
Hanlon told NRK he was on holiday in Norway after finishing military service. He made contact with local police just after 1am and a Sea King helicopter localized him. The weather was so poor, though, that they couldn’t use the rescue helicopter to pluck him from his perch.
Hanlon had to spend the night in wet, freezing weather until a specially trained Langfjella Alpine rescue crew from Hønefoss made their way up the mountainside Tuesday morning and reached him. Then they helped him down.
He was quickly provided with dry, warm clothing and taken to a local hospital but suffered no serious injury. Hanlon said he was “incredibly grateful” for the help he received.
Asked whether he’d been afraid, he replied “not really,” adding later that next time, though, he’d stay on the trail.