When Nancy Abell met young German hiker Katharina Gröne in October 2018, alarm bells started to ring. She feared the danger the tourist faced after learning about her planned trip to the snowy Stevens Pass mountains in Washington state. Abell first tried to reason with her, then she begged and pleaded. But it was no use. So, as a matter of life or death, she called 911.
Abell is from Sultan, Washington, near the state capital of Seattle. It’s a small town with a population of less than 5,000, but the scenery is stunning. To the north is the beautiful Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, an area covering nearly 2,700 square miles of glaciers and snow fields.
With access to such a beautiful and vast natural playground, Abell is a keen outdoorswoman. And it was during a walk at Lake Susan Jane that she met fellow hiker Katharina Gröne from Germany. The two quickly got chatting.