ESTES PARK, Colo. (KSDK) - Two experienced hikers, one of whomattended Parkway Schools and lived in Chesterfield, made it off of Colorado's Longs Peak Friday on their own after being stranded there for two days, the Associated Press reports.
Family and friends of Suzanne Turell and Connie Yang, who attended Parkway Central High School, had attempted to mobilize efforts for their rescue, which were hindered by near-crippling floods in the area. The National Park Service was organizing its latest effort to rescue the women when news broke that they had made it down the mountain on their own accord.
Turrell and Yang reached the Longs Peak trailhead at approximately 1 p.m. local time on Friday, where they were met by a park ranger.A National Park spokesman told USA Today that they were safe and in good condition after spending the night in cold, freezing conditions. They were being driven to Grand Lake on the only road still open out of the park.
Wang, 32, and Turell, 33, live in York, Maine, where they work as product designers at NEMO Equipment, a New Hampshire-based camping and outdoor manufacturer. Those who knew the couple say they are experienced hikers.
"They're very experienced back country travelers," NEMO Spokeswoman Kate Ketscheck told USA Today. "They wouldn't have called for help if they didn't need it."
The hikers had contacted family members via text message Thursday, telling them that they were stuck in a whiteout storm, near the summit of the 14,259 foot peak.
"We need help. At top of Longs Peak. 13400 feet. Whiteout snow storm," a text from Suzanne Turell said.
"No injuries. Iced over risk of hypothermia. On south ridge," said another text.
"No battery. Yellow tent. We are off trail," a third text read.
That was the last family members heard from them, provoking them to mobilize rescue efforts.
"Their phone battery has died, and though they have lots of backcountry experience, I believe they don't have mountaineering supplies," Suzanne's brother, David Turell, told 9NEWS in Denver.
David Turell, Suzanne's brother, was in touch with Rocky Mountain National Park up until they made it down the mountain, and was told they are putting together a rescue team, weather-permitting. Coordinating the rescue effort had been complicated by a communications blackout in Estes Park due to flood damage.
The nearby town of Lyons was evacuated Friday morning due to rising water. Fourpeople are confirmed dead, and another 80 people are 'unaccounted for' in BoulderCounty.
Turell and Yang's family members have set up a website with all of their communication about their ordeal. Check it out here:www.helpconnieandsuz.tumblr.com.