Kevin Simpson
The Denver Post

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September 13, 2013
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Floods hamper rescue efforts for hikers stranded on Longs Peak

Search and rescue teams from Larimer and Boulder counties have launched efforts to aid two experienced mountaineers trapped below the summit of Longs Peak in icy conditions, though the process has been hampered by the massive flooding in the region.

After recent storms blanketed the 14,259-foot peak in snow and ice, Suzanne Turell, 33, and Connie Yang, 32 — both from York, Maine — sent a mobile phone text at 7:07 a.m. MDT Thursday reading, "We need help. At top of Longs Peak. 13400 feet. Whiteout snowstorm. No injuries. Iced over risk of hypothermia."

The pair noted their mobile battery was dying. Calls from rangers and friends have failed to reach the pair. A website has been assembled to update friends and family on their status.

Winnie Yang, Connie's sister, said that she heard through the office of Rep. Diana DeGette that the search and rescue teams had been activated. Communication with the incident commander has been disrupted by the weather conditions, Yang added.

Barbara Turell, Suzanne's mother, said Friday that Colorado Heli-Ops, a Broomfield company that does high-altitude flying, has been contacted about dropping supplies to the stranded hikers. But the status of that effort was unclear, as the pilots were occupied by demands triggered by the flooding in the area.

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The VailDaily Updated Sep 13, 2013 01:15PM Published Sep 17, 2013 12:31PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.