Anniken (29) was caught under a glacier with crushed knees.
Summer 2011: There is a good atmosphere at the campsite in Stryn this junk field. Almost some festival atmosphere.
Summer skiing season has just begun, and those above average are fond of skiing, have gathered for sun, skiing and blue skies.
Anniken Vorpenes is one of them. She has been on snowboarding here every summer since she was 15. This weekend she will spend with three buddies. It’s usually like this – Anniken and the boys on skis.
They grill, take some beers and talk to celebrities. It is summer in the valley. Up in the mountains there is winter and snow.
The day after it is gray. It’s raining, and Anniken and the guys decide to take a leisurely start. They fix some breakfast in the tent, eggs and bacon, as usual. As time approaches 13, they get ready to drive up the mountain. Anniken is wearing the black skibuksa and the orange skull jacket, remembering goggles and helmet.
Then they travel to the mountains.
– We decide to drive the same trip as we did the day before, down Dalsnibba towards Geiranger, but agree to drive a few meters to take some photos. My friends are a little ahead of me in the race. I’m pretty fast at a turn when I notice I’m falling forward. I slide down my stomach, with my head first for about 20 meters, and see that the river is coming closer. I’m just thinking: “Oh no, this will be embarrassing. Now I get wet “before I bump into the river. But I do not stop in the river. I keep sliding down, Anniken says.
A little further down the hill are the friends. They see that Anniken disappears in the river, the skies loosen and she disappears under the snow and gets lost.
The knee is broken
Anniken has been pulled down into a burst of snow under the snow of the fiery waterfall. The high water flow makes it impossible to fight.
Anniken follows the waterfall down a long narrow corridor inside the glacier. After ten meters she hits a mountain shelf with full strength.
– The place where I land is about a square meter. It is oblique and slippery. On one side there is a wall of snow and ice, on the other side is the waterfall. It does not take long before I’m soaked. I stand at all four and try to travel me, but it’s not possible. Something has happened to the knee. Knee is broken.
Some violations are more complicated than others. One fall a New Year’s Eve gave Marion a break in the collar bone – now she has pain every day for seven years.
Under the snow
Anniken is already ice cold. She almost does not dare to move in fear of falling again and because of the pain in her knee. She sees that there is some sort of cave system under the snow, trying to find possible ways. She quickly understands that it is impossible to get up alone. It’s too narrow, slippery and steep. It is also not possible to cross the waterfall due to the knee. She looks up the ice corridor, and at the end looks a glimpse of daylight.
A place up there is the friends.
She finds the phone in jacket and tries to alert them. She calls, but hears nothing. The noise from the falls is deafening.
“I live. I’m ten feet under the snow. Help me! “She says. Then she just has to wait.
– This will keep you moving together
It was frustrating not to know if my friends heard my message or not. I was afraid that they would think the race was running. I started shouting. I screamed all I managed: Help!
Plan the funeral
The water fires past. Anniken is collapsed on the small shelf without touching. She is afraid she is going to slide down or freeze to death. She is freezing so she shakes throughout her body. The thoughts shake their heads. Was that how it should end? Should she die in a ski accident?
– I had plenty of time to think. I thought of family and friends that I had failed them and that it would be tough for them if I died. I saw my own funeral. That I should never marry or have children. I was 27 years old and I thought it was sad to think of everything I did not get to experience. Besides, I began to get seriously worried that I was so cold. It hurt when I moved. I was absolutely stiff. I wondered if I would cope with getting colder.
Dramatic rescue action
It has been a while. Ten meters further up there have been around thirty-six skiers. An ambulance helicopter has arrived from Ålesund. Another has come from Dombås. Now there is also a Sea King helicopter from the 330 squadron in Florø. Suddenly Anniken sees one of the rescuers up in the little strip with daylight.
– When I saw the rescuer, I got a new give. I managed to resist, but I was too cold and reduced to feeling some joy, “says Anniken.
A dramatic rescue action is under way. It is very difficult conditions in Strynefjellet, and the rescuers must check snow quality and danger. They must bolt solid hedges to the rescue rocks in the mountains to be able to fire down. They are specialists in electricity management, but they must constantly assess whether it is safe to go down the falls. How far are they willing to go to save another human being?
You never know when you want first aid. Kit (40) accidentally knew what to do when the heart of the man Morten (34) stopped.
Down on the mountain shelf, Anniken has decided to survive.
– I would not give up, and I thought, “I’m going to live”. I was so cold that I think it overthrew the mental pain of sitting there. Perhaps it’s a kind of survival instinct?
After almost two hours, Anniken sees a rescuer firing down against her. He tells us that his name is Dag and that he will help her up. Today, Anniken is in the border and she would not have spent much longer without losing consciousness.
– I can never forgive mom
She must get up. First she gets fired up the narrow corridor, so she gets up in one of the helicopters.
The first thing she does when she enters the helicopter is to regret that she has put the rescuers in an unnecessary and difficult situation. They are most keen to cut her wet clothes and raise body temperature.
It was down at 32.4 at the lowest.
Anniken is transported to Førde Hospital and is attended by a number of doctors, specialists and nurses at the emergency department.
– It almost felt like being in a stage in a drama series. Is it so dramatic, I thought. That was before I knew about the low body temperature and the crushed knee bowl, “she said.
At home in Molde, Mom and Dad Vorpenes have been told what has happened.
– There were some tears on the phone when I talked to mom. I really could not say big, Anniken says.
Hilde got a gun against the tin and was robbed over 50. 000
It is possible to have control over their own parental concerns, according to psychologist Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair. But first, mothers and fathers must let go of the grip – before the children grow up.
Respect for the mountain
Now, Anniken sits and drinks cocoa at a cafe in Oslo. A helicopter is flying low over the Oslo Fjord.
– Every time I see an ambulance helicopter or a Sea King helicopter, I wonder what kind of mission they are on and what has happened. I have also become extra aware when I hear about similar accidents, Anniken says. She has gotten respect for the mountain.
– Sometimes I can see glimpses from the hours I stuck in the waterfall. Then I wonder how incredibly lucky I’ve been.
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