Police in Northern Norway have confirmed that a woman who failed to return from a walk with her dog earlier this week was found dead after an avalanche in Finnvikdalen, outside Tromsø. Her dog Atlas was also found dead by emergency crews digging through mounds of snow in an otherwise popular hiking area.
The family of 26-year-old Kaja Brattli Gundersen had reported her missing after she failed to return from the trek Monday evening. Police found her parked car in Finnvikdalen on the island of Kvaløya, launched a search and found her buried under the snowmasses.
It was especially difficult for the family from Bardu because Gundersen’s twin sister was also killed in a drowning accident in the river Saalangselva in 2020. “An incomprehensible tragedy has once again hit a family that was still coming to grips with their last loss,” a spokesperson for the family told state broadcaster NRK.
Bardu Mayor Toralf Heimdal said the community set up a crisis team to help the family and her friends. “She came from Bardu, where she had family and a large network,” Heimdal told NRK. Special services were also being offered to her survivors in Tromsø, where she lived and in Sortland, where the young woman also had family.