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SALT LAKE CITY -- Five hikers are safe after getting lost and stranded on Mount Olympus. It took search and rescue crews almost eight hours and two attempts to locate and help all five hikers.
The rescue was time consuming because the hikers had separated into two groups, so it took extra time to locate all of them. And, one of the groups ended up in a dangerous cliff area.
The five hikers, two women and three men who range in age from 18-22, were hiking along the Mount Olympus Trail when they got lost and separated about a mile and half from the trail head. After a call for help around 6:30 p.m., search and rescue teams found three of the hikers in an area accessible with a helicopter. Crews lifted them off the mountain.
The other two hikers were in a cliff area that was somewhat more treacherous and hard to access.
Lt. John Barker of the Unified Police Department said, "The helicopter inserted search and rescue members who were able to get as close as they could with the helicopter and walk in to the two remaining (hikers) with lights, food and warm clothes."
Search and rescue crews guided the remaining two hikers back to the trail, where they then walked down the mountain. They finally reached the trail head around 2:30 a.m.
The retrieval of the recreationers was tense for family members as they awaited word on their loved ones. Chris Martinez was at the scene Tuesday evening, waiting for his brother, Francisco, to be rescued.
Rescuers say this is a reminder to be prepared when heading into the mountains.
"If you're going to go hiking, be prepared," Barker said. "(Take) warm clothes, plenty of food, water, cell phone and by all means take a flashlight in case you get caught on the mountain after dark."
All of the hikers were in good condition when they came off the mountain; no one was injured. As a precaution they were checked on scene, and then released to go home.