50 years since tragic Easter – 17 died in the mountains

JotunheimenJotunheimen.50 years since tragic Easter March 1967.Photo Laurvik / NTB / Scanpix

– It was a sad sight. There were dead, rigid bodies, and the youngest was only 17 years, says Erling Resvoll (85) from Lom in Telemark.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the tragic Easter when 17 people died in storms in the mountains.

 – Torrential storms

– It was a terrible weather, says Erling Resvoll, one of the volunteers in the auxiliary corps, which was called out to look for a group of missing young skiers in Jotunheimen March 22nd 1967.

The tour mates had started skiing over the Smørstab glacier. There they were hit by the strong winds.

The strongest of them managed to reach the next cabin, but the small storm meant that the Red Cross had to wait until the next day to go out for the rest.

Erling Resvoll says to NRK that it made a strong impression on him.

– It was very sad, but we knew what we were going to find. The weather was so nasty that there were no opportunity to survive. We found them on the glacier, where they lay two by two, Resvoll said. The fatalities were the Oslo-mates Helge Wickstrøm and Trond Syvertsen (17), and girlfriends Gunvor Tørum (27) and Ranveig Tønder (30).

 Accidents in several regions

Altogether 15 people died in Jotunheimen, Hardangervidda, Saltfjellet and by Versjøen not far from Hemsedal. In addition two Swedish tourists died in an avalanche on the Rundhøgda Mountain in Engerdal. 5 of 17 fatalities were between 17 to 20 years.

 Led to the mountain rules

The many Easter accidents in the mountains fifty years ago spurred efforts to spread knowledge of mountaineering among people. Mountain rules were drawn up and the Red Cross together with the Norwegian Tourist Union launched the campaign “Action mountaineering” with the motto “welcome to the mountains, but take care of yourself.


Source: nrk.no  / Norway Today / Photo NTB scanpix