Missing Glacier National Park Hikers Found, Officials Say

PHOTO: Neal Peckens, left, and Jasen Hiser, right, were reported missing on October 12, 2012 after missing their flights home from Glacier National Park in Montana.
Share
Copy

A pair of hikers missing since at least Friday have been found in Glacier National Park, apparently uninjured, officials said.

Neal Peckens, 32, of Virginia and his college friend, Jason Hiser, 32, of Maryland, were found today at approximately 3:30 p.m. MT after earlier searches for them were hampered by a weekend of challenging winter weather, according to a news release on the Glacier National Park website.

The two hikers were reported missing by their families on Friday after they did not board a scheduled flight home from Montana.

"The men are doing well with no injuries," the park said in announcing the men had been found. "They were flown out of the backcountry and met family members anxiously awaiting their return."

Additional information on the rescue will be provided Tuesday, officials said.

The friends, who met 10 years ago in veterinary school at Virginia Tech, are experienced hikers, Hiser's mother, Sandy, told ABCNews.com before learning the men had been found.

"They're both in very good physical condition," she said. "They're both intelligent young men, just lost. We're hoping for the best."

Park officials said the two men had a backcountry permit to hike the North Shore Trailhead at Two Medicine on Tuesday. Peckens and Hiser planned to camp overnight and return from the 17-mile loop on Wednesday, and then go on a day hike on Thursday.

Over the weekend, search crews had to battle wintery weather, including up to 18 inches of snow on trails, winds and snow drifts.

Aerial operations were also limited because of wind and low visibility, said Glacier National Park spokeswoman Denise Germann.

On Sunday, search personnel found a used fire ring and tracks that they believed may have been related to the hikers. The clues were found in Nyack Drainage, an area that contains dense and treacherous terrain, Germann said.

ABC News' Michael S. James contributed to this report.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Patrick Crawford is pictured in this photo from his Facebook page.
Meteorologist Patrick Crawford KCEN/Facebook
Kate Middleton Learns Sign Language
Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO: George Stinney Jr., the youngest person ever executed in South Carolina, in 1944, is seen in this undated file photo.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History/AP Photo
PHOTO: Johns Hopkins University sent nearly 300 acceptance emails to students who had actually been denied.
Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun/Getty Images