Iceland Mag

13 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Accidents, Search and Rescue

Hikers caught in a storm on Mt. Hekla rescued after tent blows away

By Staff

  • The tent A photo taken through the window of the rescue vehicles. Photo/ICE-SAR

Two hikers were rescued by ICE-SAR volunteers from South Iceland rescue companies late Wednesday evening after the men were caught in a fierce storm in the slopes of Mt. Hekla, one of Iceland‘s most active volcanoes. In previous centuries Hekla was long believed to be the tallest mountain in Iceland. Its very frequent and often devastating eruptions made some believe it to be the entrance to hell.

The slopes of mt Hekla are made up of lava, tephra and volcanic ash. At this time of year the hills are also largely covered with snow, which means hiking in the mountain is not for inexperienced hikers. Finding good camping spots in the slopes is even harder.

The two men were on this very challenging hike, and had pitched their tent in one of the barren volcanic deserts which cover the mountain when they were hit by Wednesdays storm which delivered some of its worst on Hekla and the surrounding regions, the highlands north of Hekla and Þjórsárdalur valley to its east. .

The gale force winds and pouring rain had left the men were exhausted and cold. According to the National Broadcasting Service the men finally called for emergency assistance their tent was being blown up by the wind. The men were escorted to safety by an ICE-SAR team. The rescue operation proceeded very quickly as the men could be located with the help of GPS. The men were taken by ICE-SAR to Landmannalaugar highland center.

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