Instead, they were stuck on a glacier for nearly five days because poor weather and bad lighting made it near impossible for a rescue helicopter to land.
The duo got stranded on the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Fjords National Park.
Christopher Hanna and Jennifer Neyman brought a satellite beacon with texting capabilities which allowed rescuers from the Alaska Air National Guard to pinpoint their exact location, a move that saved them later down the line.
After Hanna and Neyman’s tent was buried in a snow blizzard, they built a snowcave that was about 7-by-5-feet wide and 3 or 4 feet high.
In order to breathe, they used a ski pole to poke a hole in the cave although rescuer Maj. Matthew Kirby said they didn’t have much longer in the cave.
They also marked the cave with an orange blanket tied around a ski pole, another move that likely saved them.
Kirby said without that marking, rescuers likely wouldn’t have found them.
“It was such a huge expanse, even with that grid, digging under four feet of snow in a square mile, it would take forever to find them,” he said.
The hikers went to the hospital Tuesday and were released in good condition.
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