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Published June 02, 2011, 12:11 PM

Minn. man stranded on snowy hike is rescued in WA

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — A 21-year-old Minnesota hiker who found himself stuck on a rocky ledge in steep, snowy terrain near Stevens Pass in Washington's North Cascades told rescuers Thursday he was mentally drained by his experience, a Chelan County sheriff's spokeswoman said.

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — A 21-year-old Minnesota hiker who found himself stuck on a rocky ledge in steep, snowy terrain near Stevens Pass in Washington's North Cascades told rescuers Thursday he was mentally drained by his experience, a Chelan County sheriff's spokeswoman said.

Ezra Thompson was rescued Thursday from the 4-foot by 3-foot ledge by deputies skilled in rope rescues, Lt. Maria Agnew said. A helicopter then flew him to search headquarters at the Lake Wenatchee air strip.

The Paynesville, Minn., man was reported in good condition.

A search helicopter spotted him Thursday morning at about the 6,700-foot elevation in the Spider Gap area about 25 miles west of Leavenworth.

Thompson left the Nason Creek trailhead on May 25 and was expected Tuesday at Holden Village, a church camp where he had volunteered to clear trails. His mother called authorities when he was overdue. He was found about 10 miles west of his destination, Agnew said.

Thompson told rescuers he reached a ridge approaching Spider Gap about mid-day Saturday, then realized that he should have turned back earlier, Agnew said.

He described himself as worn out and said he was afraid he could slip and injure himself if he tried to descend from the ridge. He stayed on the ledge, surrounded by ongoing snow slides, until he was rescued.

Deputies involved in the rescue reported extreme avalanche conditions, Agnew said.

The sheriff's office said Thompson was an inexperienced hiker, but seemed to have adequate supplies.

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