Park official downplays weekend 'rescue'

Hikers weren't prepared for snow, cold
Apr. 02, 2013 @ 11:43 PM

Around 10 individuals from three groups were helped off the snowy trails Sunday afternoon in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but park spokeswoman Molly Schroer said it wasn't really a rescue.

"The rangers didn't really take names or write reports on this," Schroer said.

One man hiking in from Mount Collins Shelter called dispatch and said he was having chest pains, "possibly hypothermia," according to Schroer.

"He didn't have the proper layers to be hiking there," Schroer said. "The rangers had to plow that road to get him out if needed, and an ambulance was stationed there, but he kind of made his way out on his own."

Schroer said the rangers encountered 10 other hikers while out on the trails, including one 60-year-old man hiking with another man on Clingman's Dome. The 60-year-old man was having difficulty hiking in the area's three inches of snow and had fallen down several times.

"But they also made their way out all right," Schroer said.

The other remaining hikers weren't in danger, but they were not prepared for the snow and cold, either.

"They were chilly; they weren't prepared for the cold situation, but rangers shuttled the cold hikers down the mountain into the Gatlinburg area," Schroer said. "Luckily nothing bad happened."

rhargett@themountainpress.com