Rescuers from alpine rescue team participating in the search. Photo: Inge Nordvikneset / NTB Scanpix
Norway's rescue authorities are close to giving up the search for four skiers who went missing on Monday night, with police admitting that the chances are now minimal that the men will be found alive.
The four men, all of whom are experienced skiers, disappeared on Monday night after splitting with the two surviving skiers from the group.
The area of the Sunndalsfjella mountains where they were skiing has seen difficult weather conditions and an extreme danger of avalanches, causing the police to break off the search on Wednesday.
"The weather is so bad and the avalanche danger so great that it is not advisable to fly helicopters close to the ground," Arnfinn Fuglevaag, a press officer for the local police told NTB newswire. "Given this, the chief decided to put the rescue on hold and make plans to resume the operation tomorrow morning."
The four skiers, in their late 20s and early 30s, had agreed to meet their two friends at a farmhouse at three o’clock on Monday afternoon but never turned up.
On Tuesday afternoon, a Sea King helicopter recorded signals which were likely to be emitted from the missing group's rescue beacons, but bad weather prevented it from flying out into the mountains to investigate further.
"The chances are minimal of finding the missing skiers alive," Espen Bakk, who is running the rescue operation, told Adresseavisen.