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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Two cold, wet and tired cadets from the Air Force Academy were doing well Wednesday, hours after finding themselves stranded in waist-deep snow on Pikes Peak, officials said.
Authorities received a 911 call about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday from senior Jessie Leuschen, 22 of Iowa, and Jessie Mortensen, 21, of Michigan.
The hikers had a cell phone and called for help from above the 13,000-foot level.
El Paso County Search and Rescue crews began looking for the pair about two hours later, battling cold temperatures, snow and darkness to work through the night.
Searchers found the two about 8 a.m., wearing only light clothing.
A Black Hawk helicopter from the Colorado National Guard brought Leuschen, Mortensen and a member of the search team down to ground level.
Search and Rescue spokesman Steve Sperry said one of the team members began suffering symptoms of altitude sickness.
"A 15-minute flight would've been a 15-hour hike [down the mountain]," Sperry said, noting that assistance from the Guard likely prevented further injury.
No one had to be hospitalized.