Service Centre needed in Tröllaskagi
It is not known whether the avalanche this weekend was caused by human acitivity or not. mbl.is/Bjarni Helgason
An avalanche occurred in Brimnesdalur over the weekend and two of the tourists who were caught in the flood were taken to the emergency room. The local police chief does not say whether the flood was caused by human movement or not. More and more people are going to the mountains in the area and there is a need for further services and surveillance.
Asked whether the police often receive calls about tourists in the area, Inspector Sigurbjörn Þorgeirsson, the police’s chief of the Fjallabyggð police, confirms that and says that there is an increase in calls.
“Tröllaskagi has become more exciting and more well known. There is more attendance from people who are more risk-takers, they want to get into some [extreme] situations and this area is absolutely [perfect] for them. I don’t think the attendance it’s going to go down, it’s just about to grow for us. Unfortunately, it’s just hitting the people who live here and work in this sector,” Þorgeirsson tells mbl.is.
Small groups with a false sense of security
He says that you can’t keep track of all the people who come to the area, but those who are most likely to get into trouble are smaller groups of people in rental cars.
“People are stopping in droves here in the roadsides of the Tröllaskagi area as the spring begins. There are groups just walking up, if they see a mountain they want to go up, stop and get ready. They all say they’re very experienced, but they’re obviously just not assessing the danger correctly,” Þorgeirsson says.
When asked whether he believes that further labelling or some such method is needed because of the number of tourists, he suggests a service centre.
“I would think that there is a need for some sort of service center that would welcome all these tourists and provide them with information. There’s nothing like that available today in the area,” says Þorgeirsson. He adds that such a centre could document the movements of people in the area and guide them towards areas that are safe that day.
No weather to hike this weekend
It is important that people pay attention to the conditions in the area, but the group that was caught in the avalanche over the weekend said they were experienced. They had various equipment for the trip. However, there was no travelling weather over the weekend.
Þorgeirsson says it is not entirely known whether the flood was triggered by human activity. Only when an area is unsafe does the avalanche go down.
“They were just digging some holes there, and they were going to check on the snow when they were hit by the avalanche.” Surely people should pay attention to the instructions from the authorities, but there was no traveling weather on Saturday.
“There was no visibility, there had been a lot of precipitation and there had been a lot of snow in a short time and the substrate was just mushy and it was unsafe. Everyone was surprised that people were venturing the mountains,” Þorgeirsson says.