Air National Guard helicopter rescues three hikers

Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2000

PALMER (AP) -- The Alaska Air National Guard rescued a woman with a broken leg who had slipped down a snow chute near Matanuska Peak.

The woman, whose name was not released, was with five other climbers who were headed up the 6,149-foot Matanuska Peak Friday when she slipped. One of the hikers went for help and the others stayed with the 19-year-old woman.

The Rescue Coordination Center at Camp Denali got a call about 5:30 p.m. that the woman needed help.

A helicopter was sent but was unable to land near the injured woman because the weather had deteriorated, said Maj. Mike Haller, spokesman for the Air National Guard. The helicopter took two hikers off the mountain and dropped two rescuers to the woman at about 7:30 p.m.

The weather continued to deteriorate and another hiker decided to go down the mountain.

With daylight waning, Haller said one last attempt was made to rescue the woman and the two hikers with her when the clouds thinned just enough for the helicopter to get everyone off the mountain.

The hikers were taken to Valley Hospital in Palmer for medical treatment.

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