BIG ISLAND, Va. – Icy conditions led to two separate rescues along the Appalachian Trail on Saturday.
The longer rescue happened on the trail near Big Island and the James River Foot Bridge. It took a rescue team eight hours to free a hiker who injured his legs and suffered from hypothermia. The team needed to use a helicopter to assist in their efforts.
The second rescue happened in Roanoke County, where crews rescued a hiker who fell from the trail leading to McAfee Knob.
Some hikers still decided to travel the trail on Sunday, despite the icy conditions.
“There’s a lot less traffic on the trail because less people are hiking in the winter,” said Sydney Campbell, who traveled the section in and around the James River Foot Bridge. “I like the snow, I think it makes the world a lot prettier. I do my best to be careful in it...I carry hiking poles with me.”
Both of the injured hikers are hospitalized in stable condition.