Tourists on Talkeetna flightseeing trip spend 2nd night on Ruth Glacier

THURSDAY UPDATE 1 PM: The National Park Service says the six stranded flightseeing tourists are still on the glacier and in good health. A park service team was dropped by helicopter on the lower glacier and is hiking to the tourists with supplies.


Six tourists on a Mount McKinley flightseeing trip ended up an extra-big adventure when the pilot, concerned about a light snowfall, landed on Ruth Glacier Tuesday and decided to stay put for the night because of deteriorating weather, according to Talkeetna Air Taxi, the service flying them.

"They are all in good spirits. The pilot -- he actually cooked them breakfast this morning," Annie Duquette, the office manager, said.

The tourists should be getting off Ruth Glacier Wednesday afternoon, she said.

The stranded plane was a Beaver piloted by John Nealon, she said. Talkeetna Air owner Paul Roderick was heading to Ruth Glacier in a bigger plane, an Otter, and might take on some of the passengers to ease the load on the Beaver, she said.

The plane had survival gear on board including sleeping bags, a stove and food, Duquette said.

"They all seem to be enjoying it," she said. "They'll have a story to tell when they get home."