Exit Glacier, as seen in August 2015 from the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park just outside of Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Exit Glacier, as seen in August 2015 from the Harding Icefield Trail in Kenai Fjords National Park just outside of Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

6 rescued after being stranded in Harding Ice Field

A group of six adult skiers were rescued after spending a full day stranded in a snow cave on the Harding Ice Field, according to a press release from the National Park Service.

The release says that Soldotna Public Safety Communications Center received reports Thursday morning that the skiers were stranded in Kenai Fjords National Park, having been undertaking a “multiday traverse” across the Harding Ice Field from Exit Glacier to Bradley Lake until they encountered “inclement weather conditions” and constructed their snow cave to take shelter.

“Several” rescue attempts were made Thursday by park rangers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers using both State Trooper and Alaska Air National Guard equipment, but all were stymied by poor visibility and strong winds. It wasn’t until late Friday morning that a National Guard helicopter was able to land nearby. A group of “pararescuemen” connected with the skiers and led them to the waiting helicopter.

The group of rescued skiers were taken to “an area hospital” for evaluation. Request for information on their condition and identities was not returned by publication.

For more information, visit nps.gov.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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