Katharina and Nancy met while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Katharina told Nancy she planned on hiking the entire 2,650-miles. Since the area is prone to snow storms, most people try and finish the trail by September – but when October rolled around, Katharina wanted to keep going even though Nancy advised her to stop. A few days later, a storm rolled in. Concerned for her new friend, Nancy posted on a local hiker’s forum asking if anyone had met a German hiker headed north. Someone reported they had run into her 2 days previously—but no one had seen her since.
Nancy knew Katharina planned on hiking 15 miles every day, so she calculated how far along the trail she would likely be based on the weather and how much she was carrying, then called rescue services. Nancy’s calculations were correct, and when Katharina was found she was soaking wet, showing signs of hypothermia and frostbite, running out of food and the tarp that had kept her tent dry had blown away in the wind. She was found in white-out conditions, and just in time.