The Alaska State Troopers were involved in two search and rescue operations in the Mat-Su Borough on Sunday. Two hikers were rescued by the Alaska State Troopers in Hatcher Pass on Sunday night. The hikers, identified by the Anchorage Daily News as Kari Mauldin of Wasilla and Hanna Ramage of Las Vegas, were reported overdue Sunday evening. According to the State Troopers, they had left on Saturday to spend the night in a cabin 9 miles back from the Gold Mint trail head. They intended to return on Sunday, but more than four feet of fresh snow left them stuck.
The Troopers dispatched HELO-2, which was able to locate the hikers. Troopers walked from the landing site to the hikers, and brought them back to the helicopter. Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters says that the hikers had lost most of their gear in the deep snow, and had injuries consistent with exposure to the cold. She says it was very fortunate that the HELO-2 crew was able to locate them. Both hikers are listed in stable condition at Mat-Su Regional.
Also on Sunday evening, Troopers from the Talkeetna post were contacted by an Anchorage man who said that he and three others were stuck on a four-wheeler trail near Willow. The man reported that the party were cold and wet, and did not have gear to survive the night. One State Trooper and one Wildlife Trooper reached the party, which was eight miles down the Sheep Creek Trail, but were unable to transport them out, due to poor conditions. They contacted the Rescue Coordination Center, and a helicopter was dispatched to retrieve the stranded group and fly them to Providence Hospital in Anchorage.