Rescuers try to find skiers stuck on glacier for days

ANCHORAGE — Searchers on Monday hoped to find two skiers who have been stuck on an Alaska glacier for three days and were forced to dig snow caves after ferocious wind and heavy snow shredded their tent.

The weather cleared enough to allow an Alaska Air National Guard helicopter to land at the base of Bear Glacier. The crew was waiting for a break in blowing snow and low clouds to fly higher up the mountain to look for the pair.

Jennifer Neyman, 36, and Christopher Hanna, 45, both of Soldotna, have been stranded since Friday in the Harding Ice Field on the Kenai Peninsula, south of Anchorage.

An airplane dropped them off for a day trip in the largest ice field entirely within U.S. boundaries and could not return that night because of foul weather.

Neyman and Hanna were able to communicate with a cellphone and by satellite text messages. They told friends they spent the first night in the tent they carried until wind and snow destroyed it Saturday.

They dug snow caves for shelter but reported they were running low on provisions.

Storms kept away rescuers from two agencies who tried to reach the ice field Sunday.

The Air National Guard was trying again Monday with a Pave Hawk helicopter carrying four rescuers and a C-130 airplane.

Satellite coordinates indicated Neyman and Hanna were on 13-mile-long Bear Glacier at an elevation of about 4,300 feet.

Reaching the skiers by ground was not possible because of the weather and terrain, officials said.

The Harding Ice Field covers 700 square miles of Alaska’s Kenai Mountains in glacier ice, according to the National Park Service. It is home to more than 30 glaciers.

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