56-year-old North Carolina man, Steve Ainsworth was airlifted from the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park this past Friday afternoon. The hiker had become stranded on Appalachian Trail as a result of Hurricane Sandy's massive snowstorm that dumped over 3 feet of snow in the higher elevations of the Smoky Mountains National Park early last week.
Steve was was doing what is called a flip - flop ( where you hike one section of the Appalachian Trail and the flip to the reverse side ) . He was hiking southern part of the AT when Sandy hit and started snowing heavily for almost 3 days making the hiker literally almost trapped. He said it took him almost 8 hours to hike just one mile . He had encountered snow drifts over 5 feet high while hiking that distance . His feet was frozen , food and water almost out , he was forced to call 911 when he got a signal .
The rangers had tried to hike up to get him but they too had also hit the snow wall that Steve had run into only being able to hike a mile in many hours . Snow was just more than anyone could handle especially when your trying to hike through snow as tall as you are ! So on friday November 2 nd they contacted Tennessee Highway Patrol was called in for a air rescue . This is a video below of the rescue that they filmed getting Steve out of all that snow .