The Latest: Weather delays search for stranded Alaska skiers


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on the attempt to rescue two skiers from an Alaska glacier (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

A rescue helicopter was able to find a clearing in a snowstorm and lower personnel to the ground to begin the search for two skiers stranded for three days on an Alaska glacier.

The rescue team is hiking to the skiers, believed stranded at about the 4,300-foot level of Bear Glacier on the Harding Ice Field, the largest ice field entirely within U.S. boundaries.

Staff Sgt. Edward Eagerton with the Alaska Air National Guard says the team is battling blowing snow and winds up to 30 knots. Those conditions are keeping the helicopter grounded after inserting the team.

The rescue team is trying to reach 36-year-old Jennifer Neyman and 45-year-old Christopher Hanna.

An airplane dropped them off Friday for a day trip and couldn’t return that night because of strong winds and heavy snowfall, stranding the pair.

Neyman and Hanna communicated by satellite text message. The coordinates indicate they were around 4,300 feet on the glacier.

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1:50 p.m.

Searchers in Alaska are trying to find two skiers stranded on a glacier for three days.

An Alaska Air National Guard helicopter landed Monday at the base of Bear Glacier to look for the skiers on Harding Ice Field, the largest ice field entirely within U.S. boundaries.

Searchers are waiting for blowing snow and low clouds to clear up to fly higher up the mountain.

Officials say trying to reach 36-year-old Jennifer Neyman and 45-year-old Christopher Hanna by ground isn’t possible because of the weather and terrain.

An airplane dropped them off Friday for a day trip and couldn’t return that night because of strong winds and heavy snowfall, stranding the pair.

Neyman and Hanna communicated by satellite text message. The coordinates indicate they were around 4,300 feet on the glacier.

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11:30 a.m.

Searchers are flying over Harding Ice Field seeking two people stranded since Friday.

Alaska State Troopers say the Alaska Air National Guard’s Rescue Coordination Center on Monday was able to fly over the ice field on the Kenai Peninsula.

Searchers are looking for 36-year-old Jennifer Neyman and 45-year-old Christopher Hanna of Soldotna.

They were dropped off Friday by airplane for a day trip. However, the weather changed and the pilot was not able to return Friday night.

Hanna and Neyman contacted a friend through cellphones and satellite text messages to say their tent had failed in high wind and heavy snowfall.

The Rescue Coordination Center and troopers tried reaching the ice field Sunday but were not successful.

Hanna and Neyman report creating makeshift snow shelters.