Alaska News

Skiers rescued from Harding Icefield after becoming stranded during bad weather

A group of skiers traversing an icefield in Kenai Fjords National Park was rescued Friday, after poor weather forced them to take cover in a snow cave, the National Park Service said.

Six skiers had been on a multiday trip across the Harding Icefield, from Exit Glacier in Seward to Bradley Lake, when they “encountered inclement weather and constructed a snow cave for shelter,” according to a Park Service statement.

The Soldotna Public Safety Communications Center got a report that the six adults were stranded on Thursday morning, but poor visibility and high winds hampered efforts by the Park Service, Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Air National Guard to rescue them that day and early Friday morning, the Park Service said. By late Friday morning, the weather improved enough that an Air National Guard helicopter was able to land on the icefield near where the group was sheltering, the statement said.

“All six members were able to ski to the helicopter and were airlifted to an area hospital for evaluation,” the Park Service said in its statement.