Colorado's Extreme Weather Leaves 2 Experienced Climbers Trapped on Longs Peak

Two Maine women who texted for help during a snow storm on a Colorado mountain haven't been heard from in more than a day, according to a relative, who said extreme weather conditions are hampering the search effort.
by Alyssa Newcomb  |  ABC


Two Maine women who texted for help during a snow storm on a Colorado mountain haven't been heard from in more than a day, according to a relative, who said extreme weather conditions are hampering the search effort.

Suzanne Turell and Connie Yang, of York, Maine, sent a string of frantic text messages Thursday morning letting relatives know they were trapped at 13,400 feet on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park and needed help.

Yang's sister, Winnie, said the Thursday morning exchange of text messages was the last time she heard from the couple.

"We need help. At top of longs peak. 13400 feet. Whiteout snow storm call Emma backcountry office," Turell wrote.


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Suzanne Turell sent a string of text messages saying she and her girlfriend, Connie Yang, were stranded on Longs Peak in Colorado.

She continued, "No injuries. Iced over risk of hypothermia. On South ridge."

Turell said they were in a yellow tent off trail, southeast of the peak, and had no battery left in their phones.

Then came the final text message, received at 9:12 a.m. on Thursday.

"Can't move because of ice Storm, don't know how long it will last," Turell wrote. "Been here for 1 day trying to wait it out."

The couple, who both work at NEMO Equipment, a New Hampshire-based camping and outdoor gear manufacturer, are experienced backcountry climbers, Winnie Yang told ABC News, but she knows they wouldn't have called for help unless they needed it.

Yang said she was trying to reach rangers to find out what search efforts were being planned for today.

A bulletin posted on the Rocky Mountain National Park website said due to heavy rains and flooding there would be numerous road closures in the park. Park officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

Heavy precipitation in Colorado has caused rivers and creeks to spill over, sending cascading floodwaters into communities. At least three deaths have been blamed on flooding, and thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate.

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