Teens airlifted from Jewel Basin

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Mount Aeneas reflects in Birch Lake in the Jewel Basin Hiking Area of the Swan Mountains. (File photo)

Two Wisconsin teens were airlifted from the Jewel Basin Hiking Area in the Swan Range on Tuesday afternoon after getting wet and cold in inclement weather conditions.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry said the pair, an 18-year-old man, and a 19-year-old woman, were camping and hiking in an area between Wildcat and Strawberry lakes. Curry said the two were ill-prepared for the weather that occurred Tuesday, including below-freezing temperatures and wind, as well as snow and rain.

“They got wet and cold and they couldn’t get a fire going, so there was concern of them being hypothermic,” Curry said.

The county deployed its search and rescue team while the ALERT air ambulance and a Two Bear Air helicopter also responded.

A Two Bear unit was able to get to the area and hoist the teens off a ridge west of Wildcat Lake.

Curry said they were taken to the valley where they met family members. Neither was hospitalized.

“They were wet and cold but otherwise OK,” Curry said. “They were not prepared for the weather. There, you’re at about 6,500 feet and there’s a big difference between the weather in the valley and up there.”

Reporter Scott Shindledecker can be reached at (406) 758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

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