Hikers lost on mountain found safe

By SENTINEL STAFF

Two Michigan men who were missing since Monday on Mount of the Holy Cross were found Wednesday during an aerial search, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department said.

A Black Hawk helicopter crew from the Colorado Army National Guard High Altitude Aviation Training Site in Eagle County found Andy Westergard and Bill Hird in Reeds Meadow at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. The helicopter crew had been dropping rescuers into the field when they spotted the two.

The hikers were tired, thirsty and hungry, but were not injured, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Hird and Westergard were last seen at 3:30 p.m. Monday at about 13,500 feet, hiking toward the summit of the mountain, which is more than 14,000 feet high. The search began Tuesday morning after they didn’t return to their campsite at Cross Creek, and another hiker waiting there called authorities.

The two men, both in their mid-40s, were unable to call for help because they left their cell phones at the campsite, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Search crews from Eagle, Summit, Douglas, Larimer, Teller and El Paso counties assisted in the search for the men.


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