(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) — Airmen with the Alaska Air National Guard have rescued three hikers who were stranded on glacier about 50 miles east of Anchorage.
The rescue crews set off in two helicopters Friday morning to the Knik glacier after weather conditions improved from earlier this week, Lt. Col. John Morse, deputy director of the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, said in a press release on Friday.
Pararescuemen from the Air National Guard were able to reach the hikers and assessed their condition, which indicated minor frostbite, before loading them onto a helicopter for transport to a hospital in Anchorage.
“They were stuck at approximately 8,500 feet in elevation,” Morse said.
Multiple attempts were made to reach to the group beginning early Wednesday morning, but officials said poor weather conditions hampered efforts by rescuers.
Before reaching the hikers, four supply bundles, one of which included a radio, were dropped onto the glacier Wednesday and Thursday, Morse said.
The group had originally set out on April 3, but was unable to make their scheduled pick up two days later because of bad weather.
The climbers were forced to take shelter in an ice cave after high winds damaged their tent, according to Morse. The group was able to send a text message to a friend using a satellite-based device, who later contacted Alaska State Troopers.
“The crews did an incredible job battling the weather, thinking of creative ways that we could get supplies to the climbers and persevering throughout the last four days,” Morse said in a news release. “Everyone was leaning forward, doing everything they could to ensure the climbers were safely rescued.”
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