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Two climbers, experiencing hypothermia, are awaiting rescue on Denali, the tallest mountain in North America

Sightseeing buses and tourists are seen (Via Austin Black/Shutterstock)

Two climbers were waiting for help near the summit of North America’s tallest mountain on Wednesday. They had called for assistance the day after reaching the peak of Denali during the busiest part of the climbing season, according to officials at Denali National Park and Preserve.

The condition of the climbers was not immediately known. A third member of their team was rescued late Tuesday. Paul Ollig, a spokesperson for the park, said in an email to The Associated Press that all three climbers had experience on high-elevation peaks around the world, and two had previously climbed Denali.

The park rangers received an SOS message from the climbers at 1 a.m. Tuesday, reporting that they were suffering from hypothermia and were unable to descend from the 20,310-foot summit. They continued to communicate until about 3:30 a.m., when they said they planned to descend to a flat area known as the “Football Field” at around 19,600 feet.

A surfer heads to the water (Via Marshal Plaza/Shutterstock)

After that, the rangers did not receive any further communication from the climbers, and the location of their satellite communication device remained unchanged.

Cloud cover prevented the park’s high-altitude helicopter from flying the 50 miles from Talkeetna to Denali on Tuesday morning. Therefore, the park requested assistance from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center.

The Alaska Air National Guard deployed an HC-130J airplane from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage to search for the climbers.

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