Two hikers who got lost while on a hiking trip and needed a helicopter rescue out of the Wind River Mountains wilderness will be sent the bill, officials said Friday.
The male subjects “bit off more than they could chew” Fremont County Undersheriff Mike Hutchison said. They were uninjured and had supplies, but they soon “realized they were in over their heads.” They called the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office last week via satellite phone, according to JH News and Guide, who then contacted the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office at about 8:40 Thursday morning after confirming the hikers’ location.
“They were in a pretty remote alpine area,” Hutchison said. “They walked in somewhere around 30 miles, [and] they didn’t know where to go from there.”
The spot in question, a lake along Bull Lake Creek east of Douglas Peak is designated as wilderness so a helicopter was not able to fly to the men directly. The hikers were given directions to a rendezvous point where the helicopter could collect them. It took the hikers until Friday morning until they reached the designated location.
“We’re not allowed to land helicopters in the wilderness if it’s not a dire emergency,” Hutchison said.
The helicopter flies at a cost of about $1,800 an hour, Hutchison estimated. The two hikers will get the bill.