updated 7/2/2006 12:17:53 PM ET 2006-07-02T16:17:53

Rescue workers continued a search Sunday for three missing American hikers on Artesonraju peak in the high Peruvian Andes, an official said.

The three hikers went missing on the glacier-covered peak in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range, rescue squad chief Hugo Trejo said.

Mountain rescue police in Yungay, about 200 miles north of Lima, said a 15-person team was searching for Kristen Yoder, 21, her brother Dustin, 23, and Raymond Larson, 24. Their hometowns were not immediately known.

A helicopter is scheduled to fly over the area Sunday to search for the three Americans at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, Trejo said.

Authorities believe the group set out without a guide, Trejo said. The path that they took is “for experts, for professionals,” he added.

It is difficult to remain for long periods in the high-altitude area where the Americans were believed to have gone missing, said Jose Luis Chacon, president of the mountain guides association of the Ancash department.

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