Park Considering Air Rescue For Smokies Hiker - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Park Considering Air Rescue For Smokies Hiker

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - Rangers trying to rescue an Appalachian Trial hiker in trouble since Thursday are braving steep terrain, high winds and 4-to-5-foot snow drifts.

A Great Smoky Mountains National Park spokeswoman said the hiker used his cell phone to call 911 at about 3:30 p.m. He spoke to dispatchers again Friday morning, saying he is hunkering down at his location and he might not be able to hike out.

Two park rangers who set out on foot to find him Thursday hiked for nine hours before taking shelter. Late Friday morning, they were thought to be about 4 miles from him.

Because of poor phone reception, park officials have not been able to fully assess his condition. They are evaluating the possibility of an air rescue.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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