Stranded Nemo Equipment employees safely off Longs Peak

Heavy rainfall in Colorado led to snow and ice at higher altitudes, trapping hikers, while floodwaters below delayed their rescue for several days.
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Two Nemo Equipment employees who were stranded on Longs Peak for at least two days are safely off the mountain, officials said Friday afternoon.

The same storm that caused extensive flooding around Boulder, Colo. trapped Nemo's Director of Product Design Suzanne Turell and Director of Engineering Connie Yang at 13,400 feet with whiteout snow and ice preventing their descent.

The two women texted for help Thursday morning, including their exact GPS coordinates before their battery died. A failed rescue effort on Thursday was hampered by flooding at lower altitudes, and teams set out again on Friday morning.

"We received a call from Ranger Biddle via satellite phone that Connie and Suzanne have made it off the mountain and are safe," Nemo spokeswoman Kate Ketschek told media. "According to Rick Frost, associate regional director for communications at the National Park Service, they are in good condition and are being transported to Grand Lake, Colo."


Suzanne Turell and Connie Yang

Suzanne Turell
Connie Yang

While the Turnell and Yang are experienced backcountry hikers, Ketscheck said the pair likely wasn't prepared to spend several days in winter conditions. They reportedly had 30-degree sleeping bags and a double-wall tent.

"We need help. At top of longs peak. 13400 feet," the two women texted Thursday morning. "No injuries. Iced over risk of hypothermia. On South ridge. Rocky mountain national park. No battery. Yellow tent. We are off trail. N 40° 15.106 feet West 105° 36.812 feet, Near the notch. Can't move because of ice Storm, don't know how long it will last. Been here for 1 day trying to wait it out."

Read more about the flooding in Boulder here and stay tuned to SNEWS for updates.

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