Esja Mountain, Iceland

By January 30, 2017 No Comments

An avalanche fell in the slopes of the mountain Esja around 4pm on Saturday, sweeping with it three men that were hiking on the mountain. Two of the men managed to get out of the avalanche of their own accord and were taken injured to hospital but a massive search and rescue was mounted for the third one. He was found around four hours later, and was deceased.

The search and rescue was massive in a difficult location in a steep valley in the mountain range of Esja, with over 130 searching using search dogs, snowmobiles, drones and helicopters.

The mountain Esja is 914 meters high siting about 10 km to the north of Reykjavik city. It’s not a single mountain, but a volcanic mountain range. A beloved and iconic mountain of the people of Reykjavik which frequent the mountain for hiking and enjoying the outdoors.

Chances are slim after 30 min

Only ca 20% of buried victims are still alive after 45 minutes, and beyond two hours few ever survive.

Be careful on steep slopes

Avalanches are most common on steep slopes of 25–45 degrees. To be sure of the steepness you can measure with a slope meter.