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Ground Crews Reach Stranded Paynesville Hiker In Washington

Photo from Thompson's Facebook page

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — The Chelan County sheriff’s office says rescue ground crews have reached a hiker stuck on a rocky bench in steep, unstable terrain near Stevens Pass in Washington’s North Cascades.

Lt. Maria Agnew says weather precluded the use of a helicopter that might have hoisted Ezra Thompson to safety so a ground crew spent about two hours reaching his location Thursday afternoon. Shortly before 5 p.m., Agnew said it’s expected to take the rescuers 2-3 hours to bring Thompson to safety. If the team loses daylight before he can be brought to a helicopter landing zone, the rescue team is prepared to stay with him overnight. The 21-year-old from Paynesville, Minn., is reported in good condition and uninjured

A search helicopter spotted him Thursday morning at about the 6,700-foot elevation in the Spider Gap area about 25 miles west of Leavenworth.

Thompson left the Nason Creek trailhead on May 25 and was expected Tuesday at Holden Village, a church camp where he had volunteered to clear trails.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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