11 mountaineers rescued in Chile after two days

SANTIAGO – Chilean authorities have managed to locate a group of 11 mountain climbers missing for two days near Lonquimay Volcano, in southern Chile’s La Araucania region, amid snowfall.

Most of the climbers – six women and five men between the ages of 40 and 61 – were in good condition, but four showed signs of hypothermia, rescuers said.

Forest rangers and police Monday found the group via helicopter on a mountain slope, where they had carved out a kind of trench in the snow to keep warm.

The group, all members of a mountain climbing club from the capital Santiago, had been missing since 3 p.m. local time Saturday, when they sent relatives a message saying, “We are lost.”

Police said their climbing experience and knowledge helped their survival.

Lonquimay rises some 2,850 meters above sea level and is invariably covered in snow in the winter months, when rangers recommend climbers stay away from the volcano.