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Overnight at 12,000 feet

Hikers found in wilderness


Four members of a California family were rescued early Thursday evening near Granite Peak following a four-hour search by Park County Search and Rescue the U.S. Forest Service and Park County Sheriff's Deputies.

Annunziata Haag, of Rancho Cordova, Calif., reported her husband Spencer 47, and children Candida 19, Cameron 18, and Dallin 14, were overdue returning from a hike to Gratnite Peak

The four had departed a day earlier from there campsite at Lower Aero Lake to make the approximate 4 mile trek to Granite Peak Said Candida Haag Friday morning 

"We had originally camped at Lower Aero lake " Haag said "we were going to the summit of Granite Peak and we followed the closest trail we could find."

After reaching the summit  Haag said the family had a difficult time descending  the 12,799-foot Peak delaying their return to Lower Aero lake.

Wearing only ponchos and jackets the family bivouacked overnight at about 12,000 feet and stayed awake to keep warm. Haag said they had a map and compass and were acually never lost.

"We knew where we were the whole time. it was just a matter of covering ground" she said "We were walking really slow because we didn't have much sleep" 

The Haag's spotted the rescue helicopter from from Upper Aero Lake, and they were eventually airlifted out of the area at 6:05 p.m.

Park County Sheriff Clark Carpenter said the only available helicopter in the area was in Bozeman wich cost Park County Search and Rescue about $650. Carpenter said those rescued are billed for the cost of the search and rescue, but are not legally obligated to pay it.

While the children waited at the Cooke City Chamber of Commerce Friday morning Annunziata and Spencer Haag returned to Lower Areo Lake to retieve their camping gear.

Asked of the view from the summit of Montana's tallest mountain, Candida Haag replied "it's really beautiful but the terrain was tough. it was amazing." 

The Haag's plan to travel to Salt Lake City to visit family before returning to Rancho Cordova.         



June 2005, A group of six climbers made the summit of
Mt Rainer
July 2005, Three groups totaling 16 people tried to summit
Mt Whitney in this month 13 succeded

Graphic of newspapers; Size=130 pixels wide

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