Katharina Gröne thought her life was coming to an end after being trapped 5,000 feet up on a mountain.
As Fox 8 reports, Gröne met a woman named Nancy Abell just days before she found herself alone and stuck in a snowstorm at the Stevens Pass mountain resort.
Abell gave Gröne a ride to the resort, and the two hiked the area together for about two hours until Gröne decided to head north on her own.
Abell told Fox 8 that during the two hours she was hiking with Gröne, she tried to convince her not to go north because of the unpredictable weather:
“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. The whole two hours we were hiking together, I was trying to talk her out of it.”
Abell’s fears inevitably came true as Gröne did end up running into some difficulties while hiking. As the snow and sleet continued to close in, Gröne eventually lost her shelter equipment and gloves.
Gröne said she remembered being scared for her life:
“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.”
While stuck in the bad weather and thinking death might be imminent, she reached out to her family to apologize and say her goodbyes:
“I was not sure I would make it out at all. I already, via WhatsApp, informed my parents. I apologized for dying on the PCT, for risking too much, for being too stupid.”
However, what Gröne didn’t know at the time was that help was on its way.
According to Fox 8, while Gröne feared for her life. Abell continued to worry about her new hiking buddy as she noticed the weather continuously getting worse. That’s when Abell decided to check her maps and located where Gröne might be before calling 911:
“I couldn’t sleep the night before because I was so worried about her. 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.”
Abell listened to her instincts and called the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team for help.
The rescue team was able to find Gröne’s red jacket and footsteps that led them to the distressed hiker’s location. Thankfully, the team was able to extract her via a helicopter.
Bill Quistorf, the chief pilot for the sheriff’s office, wrote in a Facebook post about the rescue:
“Katharina did not need any encouragement to climb aboard SnoHawk 1 and fly off the mountain.”
Gröne said before being stranded, she had little faith in humanity, but the unfortunate situation has since restored that faith:
“The biggest thing, which I have struggled with before I started the PCT, was faith in humanity. My faith in humanity? Definitely restored, so box checked.”
A true friendship was surely formed after this.