LONGS PEAK, Colorado (KUSA) - Rescue teams were able to reach two climbers from Maine who were stranded on Long's Peak in Colorado.
Family members identified them as Suzanne Turell and Connie Yang of York, Maine. KUSA spoke with Turell's brother, David, before the rescue who said they were in desperate need of help.
"They're stuck in a whiteout snow storm," Turell explained. "Their phone battery has died, and though they have lots of backcountry experience, I believe they don't have mountaineering gear."
Turell was been in touch with Rocky Mountain National Park and was told they are putting together a rescue team, weather permitting. He was also hopeful of a helicopter. Coordinating the rescue effort was complicated by a communications blackout in the Estes Park area due to flooding damage. Ham radio transmissions are among the few options that were available.
Suzanne Turell's family shared this text exchange from her cell phone before her battery died.
"We need help. At top of longs peak. 13400 feet. Whitehout snow storm."
"No injuries. Iced over risk of hypothermia. On South ridge."
"No battery. Yellow tent. We are off trail."
David Turell says he was very worried about the women because he is not sure how well equipped they were for conditions.
Around 1 p.m. (local time) KUSA learned the women made it down safely.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)
A website has been established by Connie Yang's sister to help in the rescue efforts: http://helpconnieandsuz.tumblr.com/