Smokies rangers reach hikers stranded in snow

1:04 pm | January 3, 2014

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — Three Appalachian Trail hikers who were stranded in the snow without shelter will be flown out by helicopter.

According to Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials, the men are Shawn Hood, Steven White and Jonathan Dobbins, all of Gaffney, S.C.

They had set out on Thursday for a 10-day backpacking trip, but on Thursday night, they used their cell phones to call for help. Wind chills were nearing 20 degrees below zero and snow drifts were up to 2 feet high.

Rescue efforts were hampered by weather, road and trail conditions and the remote location.

Responding rangers eventually reached the men with warm clothing and tents. They were being treated in the field Friday afternoon for hypothermia and possible frostbite. All three were very weak and could not walk.

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