A helicopter carrying a rescue crew has landed at the base of Bear Glacier in the Harding Ice Fields, near Seward. They’re looking for two hikers who were stranded over the weekend.
36-year-old Jennifer Neyman, of Wrangell and 45-year-old Christopher Hanna of Soldotna were reported stranded near the Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park Saturday afternoon, according to an Alaska State Trooper dispatch.
Staff Seargent Edward Eagerton, a spokesperson for the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, says a helicopter carrying the crew landed around noon.
“The HH-60 Helicopter from the 210th Rescue Squadron was able to break through the weather enough to get to the base of Bear Glacier. They’ve landed there and they’re holding at that position waiting for the weather to clear up enough for them to get further up the glacier to get to the individuals,” said Eagerton.
Eagerton says weather and terrain will not allow a ground crew to search for the hikers.
Neyman and Hanna had been dropped off by airplane for a day hike on Friday and were supposed to get picked up that evening. The weather changed and the pilot was not able to pick them up, according to the Trooper dispatch.
Eagerton says the RCC took the lead on the rescue from Troopers on Sunday and they were able to get a flight out to the glacier Monday. Eagerton says Neyman and Hanna had been communicating through an inReach satellite locator beacon.
“The coordinates that they provided through their inReach beacon put them at approximately 4,300 feet in elevation on the Bear Glacier in the Harding Ice Field. They had communicated that their tent had failed, they were running low on supplies, the weather was getting worse and so they ended up having to dig in and make a snow cave for shelter,” said Eagerton.
Neyman is a well-known journalist on the Kenai Peninsula where she is the owner/editor of the Redoubt Reporter. Neyman has also worked for KDLL public radio and the Peninsula Clarion newspaper in Kenai.