Skiers Survive 4 Days Trapped on Stormy Glacier

They hunkered down in cave they dug in the snow
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2016 7:39 AM CDT
Skiers Survive 4 Days Trapped on Stormy Glacier
Hikers get a close look at Exit Glacier in the Harding Ice Field.   (M. Scott Moon/Peninsula Clarion via AP, File)

Two skiers were rescued from an Alaskan glacier on Tuesday—four days after initially setting out for a day trip. An airplane delivered Jennifer Neyman, 36, and Christopher Hanna, 45, to Bear Glacier in Harding Ice Field on Friday, but bad weather prevented their plane from returning, reports the Alaska Dispatch News. By Saturday, the pair from Soldotna had texted a friend with a satellite phone to say wind and snow had ripped their tent to shreds and they were running low on supplies, per the Dispatch News. They then dug a snow cave.

A plane was able to drop supplies on Monday—it isn't clear if the pair reached them—while four Alaska Air National Guard rescuers parachuted onto the glacier and began trekking toward the pair's location, which they reached Tuesday. "They had to dig out four feet of snow around the survivors to get to them," says a helicopter pilot, adding "the terrain there is pretty gnarly." A helicopter was able to evacuate Neyman and Hanna to a hospital shortly after noon. Both are in good condition. Hanna even "refused treatment," a hospital rep tells the Peninsula Clarion. Says a friend who found him in the waiting room, " He had a big ol’ ... grin on his face." (More Alaska stories.)

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