American rescued after icy night on mountain
Frozen to the bone but in good spirits, a 23-year-old American was rescued at 10am on Tuesday after spending a bitterly cold night in stormy conditions on a mountainside in southern Norway.
Strong winds, heavy fog, hail and snow all combined to delay rescuers tasked with bringing the American day-tripper down from a ledge on the Gaustatoppen mountain in Telemark county.
The helicopter crew made several rescue attempts before eventually dropping off specialist mountain climbers from the Langfjella Alpine Rescue Group, who spotted the stranded tourist jumping up and down to keep warm.
“He walked on his own steam down the mountainside with the rescue team,” said police spokesman Vidar Aaltvedt.
The American was reported missing shortly after midnight on Monday after he had walked from the train station in Rjukan during the afternoon and begun climbing the 1,883-metre peak.
Dressed only for a short hike, the 23-year-old got stuck a ledge on the mountain’s western face.
Police remained in phone communication with him overnight. Just before five o’clock on Tuesday morning, the man was located by search helicopter, but difficult weather conditions initially made a rescue impossible.
The Alpine rescue crew eventually helped the climber from the ledge before accompanying him to Selstali mountain farm, where a doctor confirmed that he was not seriously injured, said Aarvedt.
There he received dry clothes before being sent by ambulance to hospital in Rjukan for a check-up.
Firefighters, police and the Red Cross also took part in the rescue operation.