Norwegian climber dies in Wash.

Arvid Lahti made his last climb on Mt. Rainier, Washington

Photo: Monique Richard / NRK Lahti on his way down from the top of Mount Rainier. The snowstorm came in shortly after the photo was taken.

Photo: Monique Richard / NRK
Lahti on his way down from the top of Mount Rainier. The snowstorm came in shortly after the photo was taken.

Staff Compilation
The Local & NRK

“It is shocking that he is now gone. It is difficult to grasp. The mountain was a passion of his, so he died doing what he loves most,” said Marit Andreassen, a close friend of the hiker, to NRK.

The experienced climber, Arvid Lahti, made his last climb on Saturday, March 26, on Mount Rainier in the U.S. state of Washington. The 58-year-old man from Norway died from hypothermia and exposure while climbing Mount Rainier, the Associated Press reported. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told national broadcaster NRK that it was aware of the situation and had notified the man’s family.

According to NRK, a strong winter storm met Arvid Lahti and his Canadian climbing partner, Monique Richard, during their descend from the mountain top. They had to seek shelter for the night, but lacked the necessary equipment to sleep outside in those weather conditions.

Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Patti Wold said that the woman was able to partially descend the mountain on March 27. She was spotted by fellow climbers and escorted to a base camp located at a height of some 3,000 meters (10,000 ft) on Mount Rainier’s southern slope.

“It’s hard to see how he would have survived,” Wold told AP. Temperatures reportedly reached as low as -17C (1.4F) while she and the Norwegian man spent the night on the mountain on March 26.

Monique was, according to The News Tribune, picked up by helicopter and transported to a local hospital. A helicopter crew and other rescuers were unable to reach the Norwegian man on March 28 because of poor weather conditions.

According to Wold, the helicopter was able to obtain a visual on the man but he did not react, leading the national park to say on March 28 that they presume that he had died.

Rescue operations were to continue on March 29 but bad weather conditions once again made the mission difficult. It was not until the evening of March 30 that they were able to bring Lahti down with a helicopter.

Parts of this article were originally published on The Local and NRK.

It also appeared in the April 8, 2016, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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