S4.2.1 Survival in nature
"In about an hour we will arrive at the first hut", Robert says cheerfully. He has done several bushcraft courses, in which you learn to survive in nature. Now he has been walking with Laura and Astrid for a few hours through the snowy mountains. "It's beautiful here," Laura says happily, and right after that she slips on a rock. "Ouch", she shouts loudly, "my ankle! Robert runs to her and cools her sprained ankle with the snow. Laura is devastated; she was even wearing her new mountain shoes.
While they are looking at Laura's ankle on a rock in the middle of the snow, the weather changes. Within minutes the sky turns pitch black and a thunderstorm erupts. Through the noise of the storm, Astrid shouts: "It's absurd, you can't even see twenty metres any more because of the rain. "The hut is only five hundred metres away. Behind that ridge", Robert shouts back. But in the fifteen minutes that they sit still, he feels himself cooling down. Laura confirms what he thinks. "The pain isn't too bad, but I'm starting to get cold."
Robert's thoughts go full speed ahead: We have to get to a shelter within half an hour or we will get hypothermia. But Laura can't walk anymore, we don't know exactly where the shelter is, we can't see anything because of the dark and the extreme weather and we are cold. Now what? Then suddenly he shouts: "We'll pitch the tent here". All these small problems that can normally be managed now create a potentially life-threatening situation and splitting up is out of the question!
He takes the pans out of his rucksack and asks Astrid and Laura to dig a hole with them. Together they pitch the tent as best they can and Robert pushes the ladies inside. "Take off all your clothes," he commands, "because they are wet. Light the gas burner as a stove and eat and drink warm things." Robert himself is still standing outside when lightning strikes nearby. Pink. Purple. Beautiful colours. It’s an explosion at less than fifty metres away. Only around eleven o'clock in the evening does the storm subside. "We'll make it", mumbles Robert, although all the sensations make it impossible to sleep. The three of them chat until it gets light and together they watch the sun rise. "This is really the most beautiful sunrise ever", Robert says with relief.