Nature

Police warn about potential dangers of mountain hiking in darkness

Image credits: Maria Olsen

Calls to emergency services from concerned individuals about hikers in the mountains during winter are not uncommon, according to the police — in fact so common that the police are now urging hikers to notify them before venturing out into the dark.

One tip was received late on Saturday night, when three sources of flashlight beams were spotted in the mountains near Oyndarfjørður. The observation prompted the police to send out a search team to make sure things were under control, which indeed turned out to be the case. The lights did not come from individuals who’d found themselves lost in the mountains, as feared, but rather from a group who had ventured out for a late night photoshoot.

Following the event, the police asked, according to news daily Portal.fo, that people who plan going on a hike in the dark notify the police beforehand — to spare emergency services unwarranted alarms from any worried and well-meaning callers who may imagine there is some cause for concern when in fact there is not. The police also pointed out that through notifying beforehand, hikers help emergency services make contact efficiently, should the need arise, in the same way as they help the emergency services avoid waste of time and resources.

In the last couple of years, there have been several instances of foreign hikers who’ve injured themselves in the Faroese mountains, as well as tourists who, sadly, never returned from their hike.

During the winter of 2019 two tourists went missing in the mountains — a 31 year-old French man, whose remains were later found in Kunoy, and a 29-year old Austrian man who went missing in Fugloy and whose body was never recovered.

Even during summer, there have been tragic accidents in recent years — a stark reminder of the treacherous nature of the Faroese mountain terrains. The fog is another potential danger that should always be factored in by those who feel tempted by the ever stunning Faroese mountains.

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