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Hikers Neal Peckens of Herndon, Va., Jason Hiser of Richmond, Va., found safe Monday after being reported missing In Glacier National Park

10:30 PM, Oct 16, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Two hikers from Virginia who were missing in Montana were found alive  late Monday and are heading home this morning.

Neal Peckens of Herndon and Jason Hiser of Richmond, who are both veterinarians, had been missing for four days in the back country of Glacier National Park. So many things can go wrong out there --- hypothermia, getting lost, grizzly bears -- but the family of these two men never lost hope. But a picture of Hiser right after he was rescued at approximately 4:30 p.m. Monday showed him looking great, without any injuries. 

Hiser and Peckens met at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and are relatively experienced hikers. They have taken several hiking trips together.

They were reported missing on Friday when they failed to catch their flight home. About 50 people searched for them for days in terrible winter weather. Their efforts through high winds, limited visibility and nearly 2 feet of snow paid off.

A friend of Peckens called 9News's Bruce Leshan on Monday evening to say both men were found safe and were reportedly in good shape. Neal Peckens' mother Cathy told Bruce Leshan the hikers were "able bodied" and were probably able to walk out on their own, but rescuers were taking no chances. Neal Pecken's father Bruce and Neal's wife were out in Montana. Bruce Peckens told his wife that he cried all over the rangers when they told him his son was okay.

The big questions this morning: what happened? Did they get lost? How and where were they found?

The National Park Service has not released that information.

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