Utah climbers pinned down on a slab on Mt. Olympus during a storm were rescued Saturday night in what officials said was a “miracle.”
The trio was stranded on the West Slabs of the mountain in Salt Lake County on Saturday evening one hundred feet below the summit, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue said.
The climbers were hypothermic when rescuers tried to reach them via helicopter that had to turn around due to icing issues.
Two ground teams were also deployed but the dangerous weather forced each group to turn back.
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Officials determined that weather conditions were too dangerous to send ground teams up the slabs, and they would instead send teams up the normal summer trail to spend the night near the summit in case there was a break in the weather overnight.
“With temperatures supposed to drop to 20 degrees in the night, the three needed a miracle to make it through the night,” the agency said. And it happened.”
Officials said their chance to reach the stranded climbers came around 10 p.m. when the weather broke. The Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter hoisted the climbers off the slabs.
All three were hypothermic after spending five hours in the storm while wearing only light rain jackets, officials said. No update on the climbers’ conditions was immediately available.
Wayne Bassham, with Salt Lake County SAR, told FOX13 Utah that during what is known as the “shoulder” season, the weather can change quickly, and climbers must be prepared with proper gear and clothing.
“If you’re not dressed properly for it, it’s a game changer,” said Bassham. “You need to have your summer gear, you need to have your winter gear, you just need to have everything you’ve got in your toolbox.”