Great Smoky Mountains National Park Dispatch received a 911 call through the Cherokee Police Department at 3:37pm on Thursday, Nov. 1 of a single male hiker in distress in a remote section of the Appalachian Trail somewhere between the Pecks Corner and Tricorner Knob Shelters. The call came directly from the hiker via cell phone.
Late Thursday, the Park dispatched two rangers by foot to the approximate location of the hiker to determine his exact location, assess his condition, and stabilize as needed. After a nine hour hike in steep terrain, high winds, and four to five foot snow drifts, the rangers have temporarily taken shelter in a cabin on the Appalachian Trail for a rest period. The rangers are an estimated four miles from the individual. The Park is currently evaluating the possibilities of an air operation with the Tennessee Highway Patrol sometime today.
Early Friday morning, Cherokee Police received another short telephone call from the hiker. He has reported that he has made it through the night by hunkering down at his location. The Park is unaware of what type of shelter he has been using. He is also reporting he may not be able to walk out, but the Park is unable to access his full condition based on the broken phone calls.