Missing Virginia Firefighters Found

Alex Obert, 30, and Steven McCay, 29, both of Arlington, Va., appeared to be in good condition.


CRAWFORD NOTCH, N.H. --

Two hikers missing in Crawford Notch since Sunday were found Tuesday morning, officials said.

Alex Obert, 30, and Steven McCay, 29, both of Arlington, Va., were found on the back side of Mount Eisenhower and appeared to be in good condition. A helicopter spotted the men walking and took each one off the mountain at 10:15 and 10:30 a.m.

"This is so wonderful," said McCay's mother through tears. "We want to thank all the rescue people and all the Fish and Game people for all they've done."

The men were walking when spotted by the helicopter, and they were smiling when they were brought off the mountain. Neither was taken to a hospital.

Fish and Game Department officials said the two were planning to hike Presidential Traverse and exit at the Highland Center at the top of Crawford Notch on Sunday afternoon.

The men were last seen at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday and might have been spotted by hikers north of Jefferson, N.H., at about 11:30 a.m., officials said.

Several teams swept the trails on foot and stopped the search at 9 p.m. Monday. Officials said rainy conditions were making the search difficult, but they did find some footprints.

Weather conditions made it impossible to use a helicopter on Monday, but better weather allowed a helicopter to search from the sky on Tuesday.

Friends of the men said they are paramedics and firefighters in Virginia. The men hiked the same area of the Presidential Trail last summer and had recently ice climbed in Colorado.

A number of hikers have disappeared in recent weeks. Two hikers from Massachusetts survived a frigid night on Mount Washington in early February by sheltering in a hole they dug in the snow.

Last week, one of two hikers in Franconia Notch was pronounced dead after the two men were found. The other man was recovering from hypothermia and frostbite. Rescuers said the men were not properly equipped to spend a cold night on the mountain.

A hiker from Boston was rescued on Saturday after losing his way in whiteout conditions during a hike in Franconia Notch on Friday. Officials said Benjamin Davis, 28, had a sleeping bag, tent and cold-weather gear but didn't have snowshoes and was running a risk by hiking alone. He was released from a hospital on Sunday.

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