|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive
Good news: Both women returned to safety as of Friday, September 13.
Connie Yang and Suzanne Turell sent a series of emergency texts from 13,400 feet at around 9:07 AM yesterday, according to Yang's sister, Winnie. The two hikers indicated that they were off-trail and attempting to wait out an ice storm on the mountain's south ridge.
The status of rescue efforts remains unclear. Emergency personnel in the area are stretched thin due to the ongoing damage from yesterday's historic flash flooding in Boulder, Lyons, Estes Parks, and other areas of Colorado's Front Range.
Mike Fink, public information officer for Larimer County's Search and Rescue chapter, said that visibility on the mountain was still poor, making a helicopter search difficult. He added that his SAR teams were on call, but had not yet been given details about any potential mission.
Calls to the Rocky Mountain National Park ranger station were not immediately returned.
UPDATE 10:30 AM:
Winnie Yang, Connie Yang's sister, told BACKPACKER that she has not heard any word from search and rescue personnel as of yet. She said that she and her family are pressing officials to mobilize military personnel from nearby Fort Carson. Authorization for such an effort would need to come from the rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park.
UPDATE 1:45 PM:
The Denver Post is reporting that both women have made it off the peak safely. A spokeswoman for the hikers' employer, NEMO Equipment Inc., posted the following to her Facebook page: "THE GIRLS ARE OFF THE MOUNTAIN! We have not talked to them yet, but did get a satellite phone call from the Incident Commander. More details as we get them. Thanks everyone. My best wishes to everyone in CO for their safety and better weather."
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