Lone hiker rescued after stranger's 911 call

A hiker stranded on the Pacific Crest Trail was rescued after a stranger called 911.

Posted: Nov 2, 2018 6:24 PM
Updated: Nov 2, 2018 6:46 PM

A two-hour hike on the Pacific Crest Trail between two strangers led to the rescue of one of them just days after.

Katharina Gröne on Wednesday described how she was alone, surrounded by snow and sleet, and trapped 5,000 feet up on a mountain when a helicopter swooped down to rescue her.

"I was not sure I would make it out at all," Gröne said in a press conference. "I already, via WhatsApp, informed my parents. I apologized for dying on the PCT, for risking too much, for being too stupid."

Gröne, of Germany, started her journey on the PCT at the Mexican Border in May, and she was committed to make it to Canada.

She met Nancy Abell at Lake Susan Jane in Washington on October 22, and Abell offered her a ride to Stevens Pass, a popular mountain resort. The two hiked around the area for about two hours, before Gröne decided to head north.

"I felt like, being from Germany, she wasn't familiar with the Glacier Peak wilderness area, and Glacier Peak creates its own weather, and it can be really bad this time of year," Abell said. "The whole two hours we were hiking together, I was trying to talk her out of it."

Up to 3 feet of snow was expected where Gröne was headed.

'It's terrifying'

After the weather started getting worse, Abell checked the weather and her maps, and pinpointed where Gröne might be before calling 911.

"I couldn't sleep the night before because I was so worried about her," Abell said. "Anybody, really I would have done the same thing for if I thought they were in peril up there, because I've been through it and it's terrifying."

While on Glacier Peak, Gröne lost shelter equipment and two sets of gloves as the snow and sleet closed in.

"I was screaming for help in the morning because I just had to get the fear out of me. I was screaming all the names I knew and I was just hoping that someone would react." Gröne said.

After being in contact with Abell, the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team spotted footprints and Gröne's red jacket and eventually got their SnowHawk 1 chopper close enough so she could climb in.

The rescue team was on its last scan before running out of fuel, according to Bill Quistorf, the chief pilot for the sheriff's office.

"Katharina did not need any encouragement to climb aboard SnoHawk 1 and fly off the mountain," the team wrote in a Facebook post Monday.

Faith in humanity is back

"The biggest thing, which I have struggled with before I started the PCT, was faith in humanity," Gröne said.

While Gröne was stuck in the mountains she was asking why no one cares about anyone else.

"My faith in humanity? Definitely restored, so box checked," Gröne said in the press conference, sitting next to the former strangers who saved her life.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 110759

Reported Deaths: 3503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20645758
Lake10172317
Elkhart6321108
St. Joseph600797
Allen5921200
Hamilton4646109
Vanderburgh327129
Hendricks2638121
Monroe236836
Johnson2250122
Tippecanoe218413
Clark210156
Porter203344
Cass19279
Delaware184261
Vigo175722
Madison156575
LaPorte135637
Floyd130061
Howard127063
Kosciusko118717
Bartholomew114557
Warrick111935
Marshall98024
Boone94446
Dubois94018
Hancock90042
Noble87632
Grant86733
Henry75424
Wayne73714
Jackson7319
Morgan69438
Shelby66329
Daviess63927
LaGrange62911
Dearborn62128
Clinton59112
Harrison55624
Putnam5209
Montgomery50221
Lawrence50028
White47814
Knox4769
Gibson4644
Decatur45339
DeKalb44211
Miami4223
Fayette41713
Greene41535
Jasper3802
Steuben3647
Scott35310
Sullivan32812
Jennings30812
Posey2940
Franklin29325
Clay2925
Orange28224
Ripley2788
Carroll26913
Wabash2608
Washington2571
Starke2487
Wells2472
Whitley2476
Adams2403
Jefferson2403
Fulton2302
Huntington2173
Spencer2154
Tipton21522
Randolph2067
Perry20213
Newton17011
Jay1680
Owen1641
Martin1590
Rush1494
Pike1361
Vermillion1250
Fountain1152
Blackford1142
Pulaski1131
Crawford1020
Brown1013
Parke932
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland680
Warren401
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 143547

Reported Deaths: 4612
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin25846603
Cuyahoga17041642
Hamilton12698307
Montgomery7443152
Lucas7091357
Butler558699
Summit5073248
Marion305747
Mahoning2988279
Warren289348
Stark2723168
Pickaway262844
Lorain225386
Delaware211620
Fairfield199950
Columbiana191880
Licking185362
Trumbull1847131
Clark170738
Wood167971
Clermont161120
Lake157249
Medina142038
Allen136567
Miami134149
Greene133827
Portage106466
Mercer104417
Tuscarawas91020
Wayne89866
Erie89644
Ross84922
Richland78119
Madison77612
Darke75939
Belmont70527
Geauga70147
Hancock6559
Ashtabula64148
Athens5882
Lawrence58818
Auglaize5629
Shelby5619
Sandusky55420
Putnam53723
Huron5217
Union4832
Ottawa46430
Scioto4596
Seneca43514
Preble41813
Holmes3707
Muskingum3672
Jefferson3184
Henry29412
Logan2913
Champaign2873
Perry2849
Defiance27910
Clinton27813
Knox27815
Brown2732
Hardin24913
Morrow2472
Washington24623
Fulton2321
Coshocton23011
Jackson2284
Fayette2256
Ashland2224
Highland2203
Crawford2176
Wyandot20112
Williams1973
Gallia17912
Meigs1709
Hocking1599
Guernsey1557
Pike1530
Carroll1497
Adams1204
Van Wert1103
Monroe10618
Paulding1010
Harrison601
Morgan460
Vinton453
Noble260
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 70°
Angola
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 70°
Decatur
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 70°
Van Wert
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 70°
Warming up for Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events