Woman’s Fateful Encounter With Foreign Hiker Prompts Call To Police

Turns out her gut feeling was right in calling the police.


Nancy Abel and her family reside in the rural Washington area. The beautiful nature that surrounds their home is one of the reasons they love the place. Even though some people may assume living on the outskirts could be monotonous, that’s not really the case with this woman who enjoys going hiking now and then.

Whenever she decides to explore the surroundings, she always makes sure she wears appropriate clothes depending on the weather, and has a back-pack full of supplies.

Her journeys are usually pretty short and she doesn’t really meet many people while  hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, but that day was unlike any other.


Nancy could see a young woman walking down the path. She decided to approach the lady who introduced herself as Katharina Groene from Germany. She told Nancy how she started her journey from the Mexican border and was heading towards the Canadian. It was amazing how she managed to cross more than 2,500 miles, with only 150 to go.

The Pacific Crest Trail is around 2,650 miles and it is assumed that it takes approximately the entire snow-free season, or around 5 months, to complete it walking from start to finish. The trail spans from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington.


Nancy feared for this woman’s safety because the weather conditions started changing, becoming more severe. From what Nancy could see, Katharina didn’t have the right equipment to continue her journey. The snow was just around the corner and she didn’t even have snow shoes nor other appropriate cold-weather gear.

Nancy later stated how she believed Katharina wasn’t really aware of the dangers this trip could bring, and wondered what would she do once she reaches the cold mountains of Canada. She tied her best to talk the hiker out of her intention, but in vain.

“In fact I told her, ‘If you were my daughter I wouldn’t let you do this,'”

Nancy said. But Katharina was determined to finish what she started and ignored the warnings.


As for Nancy, she couldn’t take the woman out of her mind. She was checking on the weather forecast all the time, and when she read how a heavy snowfall was about to hit the country, she simply had to call 911 and ask for help.

When they asked her what the emergency was, she said there wasn’t any, and went further elaborating her concerns. The first responders also believed Katharina could be in trouble so they sent a helicopter in search for her.

Unfortunately, their concerns were justified. The hiker was soaking wet, unable to light a fire, alone in the freezing weather in the mountains. If it wasn’t for Nancy she could have died alone with no one by her side.

“I’ll think of her as a hero for the rest of my life,”

Deputy J. Adams said.


Katharina spent the next couple of days at Nancy’s place and is beyond grateful she saved her life. She is now planning her trip back to Germany and says how she decided to hike the trail all by her self because she had lost faith in humanity, but now that faith is back “in a really big way” and stronger than ever.

It was the mother’s instinct and her gut that made Nancy take things in her hands and save a life.

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