Mount Shasta

Missing hikers reach Weed

MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. — Two missing hikers have made their way off Mount Shasta safely, showing up in a town more than 10 miles from the mountaintop and two days after requesting help, authorities said.

Patricia Giamoni, 37, of Apex, N.C., and Salvador Frias, 41, of Millbrae, Calif., walked onto the shipping docks of Roseburg Forest Products in Weed, Calif., at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Susan Gravenkamp said.

The hikers were dehydrated but otherwise in good condition, she said.

Nearly 100 people, including search teams from Jackson County, had looked for the two who called for help when they were caught in bad weather Saturday on a day hike to the 14,162-foot summit, officials said.

Frias had called 9-1-1 late Saturday and said they needed help, but the call was lost and authorities couldn't get through when they tried to call back. About 30 minutes later, Giamoni's son, Frank Machado, called from North Carolina and said she had called him from the mountain reporting she and Frias needed help. He relayed partial coordinates of their location, but rescuers couldn't pinpoint the spot.

Gravenkamp said Giamoni and Frias had reached the summit via the Avalanche Gulch route and were coming back down when they got disoriented in clouds and high winds at Misery Hill, an elevation of about 13,000 feet.

They called and waited for rescuers there, but when no one came, continued down a steep route that put them on Whitney Glacier on the northwest side of the mountain. From there, they could see the lights of Weed. They set a GPS system with those coordinates and hiked toward them, following railroad tracks when they came upon them. Gravenkamp said the two weren't prepared for a night on the mountain, but had water and a loaf of bread, which they rationed through their journey.

On Monday, two helicopters dropped eight rescuers onto the mountain. In all, 44 searchers worked Monday. Authorities also had asked about 120 recreational climbers on the mountain to be alert for any signs of the missing hikers.

Smoke from numerous wildfires in California limited visibility and hampered air searches, authorities said.

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