Iceland Search and Rescue (ICE-SAR) rescued two men from Grímsfjall, a volcano on the northwestern side of the Vatnajökull ice cap. Vísir reports that the men were experienced Romanian mountaineers who sent out an emergency call after getting lost and then caught in an avalanche. The men sent out their emergency signal at 4:00 PM on Thursday afternoon and were rescued at 3:00 AM on Friday morning.
The men had been skiing across the mountain when they were caught in the avalanche, losing their skiis and ski poles. Unable to reach a nearby mountain hut, they found their packs and were able to send out an emergency signal before burrowing themselves into the snow for shelter and warmth. They were uninjured when they were finally rescued last night but had started to suffer from hypothermia.
Friðrik Jónas Friðriksson, who lead the search operation on Vatnajökull yesterday said that the two men had taken precautions and reacted just as they should when their trek went wrong. “They had a good itinerary, which they had registered on the Safe Travel website and they’d rented the emergency transmitter that they had with them. Considering the circumstances and what they went through, I’d say these men did everything right.”
A total of 150 people took part in the rescue operation, during which the glacier was searched from three directions, as is standard during any serious incidents take place there.
Travelers are reminded to submit their hiking itineraries and travel plans on the Safe Travel website before setting out. The 112 Iceland App is also freely available and allows hikers to send text messages with their GPS coordinates to a 112 response center and/or an SOS signal in case of emergency.