The two missing Virginia hikers spent six days in bitter cold, on snow-coated ground and in pounding rain in Glacier National Park.
Rescued Monday, Jason Hiser and Neal Peckens sat in the sun, home safe at last. They recounted the moment Monday afternoon when they heard a voice.
“When the man who was hiking called out. And we realized it was over. And we are heading back,” says Peckens.
They have hiked national parks before. The pair intended to spend one night camping. When snow covered the trail and they realized they had wandered far off the path, they hunkered down.
“The worst part of this whole thing: We were not able to communicate with anyone back home that cared about us,” says Hiser.
The weather didn't let up. Days ran together in the cold wilderness. They were down to a quarter of a power bar a day.
"The hardest thing was to keep staying in the same place,” says Hiser.
Now that their ordeal is over, Hiser and Peckens want to send a thank you to all those who comforted their families and scoured the mountains looking for them.
“Very grateful for everyone that has shown so much support,” says Peckens
Both Hiser and Peckens are veterinarians and they are both healthy and fit. Despite the weight loss they are doing fine. Still these lovers of the outdoors may curtail their hiking plans for a while.
“Well, we would love to. I don't think our wives will let us go for many years,” says Peckens.