Two hikers were rescued this week from Resurrection Pass Trail on the Kenai Peninsula, after authorities say they lost their orientation and encountered more snow than expected.
Alaska State Troopers were notified around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday that two people were hiking on the popular trail and “needed assistance,” according to an online report from the agency posted Thursday. According to Public Affairs Specialist David Bedard with the Alaska Air National Guard, they were on the southern end of the 39-mile trail, closer to Cooper Landing.
The hikers reported that they had “lost orientation,” according to a statement from the Alaska National Guard on Wednesday, and that they “weren’t confident they could navigate through the snow.” Troopers said the hikers, using a satellite communication device and satellite phone, “reported that they had encountered more snow than they had expected” and that they were “exhausted.”
One of the hikers had also fallen into some water and was cold, troopers wrote.
Troopers contacted the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, which in turn tapped the Alaska Air National Guard. Guardsmen with the 176th Wing used two aircraft — one for reconnaissance due to inclement weather — to rescue the hikers, according to the statement. They were picked up by a Pave Hawk helicopter shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday and taken to an Anchorage hospital for evaluation, the guard and troopers said.
Alaska Air National Guard Capt. Brent Kramer said in the statement that having two-way communication through satellite-enabled devices was “key in expediting the rescue effort.”