Wind River hikers to pay for helicopter rescue

Posted 8/27/19

RIVERTON (WNE) — Two hikers are paying for the helicopter that flew them out of the Wind River Mountains after getting lost on a camping trip last week, officials said Friday.

The male …

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Wind River hikers to pay for helicopter rescue

Posted

RIVERTON (WNE) — Two hikers are paying for the helicopter that flew them out of the Wind River Mountains after getting lost on a camping trip last week, officials said Friday.

The male subjects were uninjured, and they had food and water, undersheriff Mike Hutchison said, but they “bit off more than they could chew” and “realized they were in over their heads.”

They called the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office earlier this week via satellite phone, according to reports. That agency contacted the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office at about 8:40 a.m. Thursday after confirming the hikers’ location.

Coordinates listed on the sheriff’s report indicate the hikers were at a lake along Bull Lake Creek east of Douglas Peak.

“They were in a pretty remote alpine area,” Hutchison said. “They walked in somewhere around 30 miles [and] they didn’t know where to go from there.”

The spot in question is designated as wilderness, he said, so a helicopter was not able to fly to the men directly.

“We’re not allowed to land helicopters in the wilderness if it’s not a dire emergency,” Hutchison said.

Instead, officials asked “some pretty experienced mountaineers” to give the hikers directions to a rendezvous point at the wilderness boundary where they could be picked up.

By Friday mid-morning, the hikers had reached the designated spot and a helicopter was dispatched to meet them. The ride will cost about $1,800 an hour, Hutchison estimated, and the hikers will get the bill.

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