Alaska National Guard rescues 12 from glacier in high-altitude operation: report

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After a four-day delay because of weather issues, an Alaska National Guard crew this week rescued 12 mountaineers who were stranded on a glacier, according to a report.

The rescue occurred Tuesday in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, according to the Anchorage Daily News. It was the largest high-altitude rescue conducted using a Chinook helicopter in state history, the report said.

The copter landed at an altitude of about 10,000 feet around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday and took on board eight mountaineers, four guides and about 1,000 pounds of their gear, officials told the newspaper.

Two of those rescued were treated for altitude sickness while a third suffered a minor case of frostbite, the report said.

The sickened mountaineers were struck at about 14,000 feet, then were helped down to 10,000 feet by the guides, the Daily News reported. After being transported by the Chinook to Gulkana Airport, the sickened mountaineers boarded another aircraft to Anchorage for treatment, the report said.

A guide on the ground used a satellite phone to stay in contact with the National Guard regarding landing conditions for the helicopter, according to the report.

In a separate rescue, two New York state men were reached Monday from the site of a plane crash. That rescue was also delayed by weather issues, the report said.

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