Hikers rescued from the Dolomites

Hikers Require $10,000 Heli Rescue in Dolomites Because They Wore the Wrong Shoes

Guess 'hiking sandals' aren't a thing after all.

We've all had that moment where we regret our hiking shoe choice. But for most of us, the error in judgment didn't earn us a ride in a helicopter, not did it cost us $10,000.

The same can't be said for a group of Italian hikers who chose to wear Teva-style sandals on their recent hike in Italy's Dolomites: Two men and two women in their 20s and 30s, along with their dog, set out to climb from Rigugio Pussa in Val Week, planning a loop up Mount Rua (Friulian Dolomites) and back down.

They made it up the steep sides of Mount Rua before they encountered a landslide blocking their path. The group quickly realized shorts and sandals weren't going to cut it. It's unclear why they didn't (or couldn't) head back down the way they came, but the four-some decided they needed help, and promptly called for an Alpine Rescue Service.

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The rescue service responded and flew in to scoop them up in a helicopter—a ride that costs around $10,000 USD, according to British newspaper, The Telegraph.

That is one hefty price for the wrong footwear, and, while heli rescues are typically covered, many Italians believe the hikers should foot the bill themselves—especially since people wearing the wrong hiking clothes and footwear seems to be a common problem. Over the past week, there have been "dozens and dozens" of rescues, and 10 people have died.

Giuseppe Dal Ben, USSL 1 Dolomiti commissioner, told Italy 24  "The CNSAS volunteers or the Falco one and two helicopters pick up people in difficulty and most of the time take them to the car or hotel. It is obvious that the hiker pays for his inexperience, and the bill is salty, because it can reach up to 2,000 euros, depending on the journey the helicopter has to make and the difficulty of recovering it".

The Dolomites have an influx of visitors who want to experience the mountain range. But not all have realistic expectations.

Alex Barattin, a member of the Alpine Rescue Service in the northern Veneto area, said many hikers don't know how to stay safe in high altitudes.

?"They are unaware of their own level of fitness, and they lack the most basic knowledge—for instance, an ascent of 800 meters takes about three to four hours of walking. Under the glare of the sun, it requires significant physical exertion," he told the newspaper Corriere del Veneto.

READ MORE: 17 of the Best Beginner Hikes in the United States