Sep 13, 2013 3:44 PM by Nicole Vandeputte
Two experienced climbers who have been trapped for two days by an ice storm near the peak of a 14,000-foot mountain in Colorado made their way back down to safety this afternoon.
They had been sending texts to family saying they were trapped up on Longs Peak and at risk of hypothermia and need help.
The climbers provided their precise latitude and longitude and said they were not hurt, but raging floods at the bottom of the peak have left roads impassable and made it impossible for rescue crews to reach them, a co-worker said Friday.
Suzanne Turell, making the climb up Longs Peak with her girlfriend, Connie Yang, sent a text shortly after 9 a.m. ET Thursday that said: "We need help. At top of longs peak. 13400 feet. Whiteout snowstorm."
Another text from Turell said: "Can't move because of ice Storm, don't know how long it will last. Been here for 1 day trying to wait it out." The texts were sent to Yang's sister, who has set up a Tumblr page to keep friends and family up to date on the rescue.
Rangers from Rocky Mountain National Park sent a search party on Thursday, but the roads were flooded, said Tina Bourgeois, the co-worker. She said the family was working with a private helicopter company in hopes of dropping supplies.
Bourgeois did not have details on what supplies the women had with them - one of the texts said they were in a yellow tent - but said they were deeply experienced and spent three weeks on and off the Pacific Coast Trail last year. They live in York, Maine.
"They're both well-educated, intelligent, brave women who put themselves out on adventures routinely," Bourgeois said. "They're trained. They're well-versed. They know what they need to be doing."