msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 10/21/2010 7:45:36 PM ET 2010-10-21T23:45:36

Three hikers who were stranded on California's Mount Whitney for three days were airlifted to safety on Thursday, but officials say two other hikers are now reported missing.

Sequoia National Park spokeswoman Dana Dierkes says the two additional hikers were reported missing after failing to return from a hike Tuesday. The two men, described as Iranians, were were identified as Sinh Baghsohi, 27, and his father, whose first name was not immediately available.

Jim Filips, father of one of the three hikers who were found Thursday, told Omaha World-Herald that a Chinook helicopter airlifted the three hikers from the mountain's summit about 12:30 p.m. PT.

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Steve Filips, 43, and Phillip Michael Abraham, 34, and Dale Clymens, 45, were reported in good condition.

The three men from Omaha, Neb., went missing during their hike Monday evening on the 14,494-foot Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States, said Dierkes.

ABC station KETV said the three were part of a group of 10 hikers from the Omaha area. Leader Dave Paladino told KETV that they split into three groups and his group reached the summit about three hours before the hikers who went missing. Soon, conditions worsened.

Snowstorms had hampered rescue efforts for the hikers believed stuck inside the summit's shelter, park officials say.

About 45 people had been assigned to the search. In an initial attempt at resuce, rangers reported that some rescuers were able to get within a mile from the shelter at the summit, but that snow forced them to retreat. A command post dispatcher on Thursday reported snow accumulations between 1 and 2 feet of new snow above 8,000 feet.

Abraham's girlfriend, Brandy O'Connor, told KETV in Omaha that she had been receiving text messages from Abraham until 10:28 a.m. Tuesday. She hasn't heard from him since, KETV reported.

O'Connor said she received her first text message at 5:55 a.m. Tuesday, according to the affiliate. His text read, "Me, Dale and Steve are stuck in the shelter at top of Whitney. Need to send support. Can't find trail. Some supplies."

O'Connor said she received a second text, saying "Cold but alive. Things went bad. We're in shelter, call Dave," according to KETV.

Then a third and final text: "We are waiting in the shelter. Much colder. Still white out. Need more gear and water or lighter if staying again, warm clothing."

O'Connor said she contacted the Sequoia National Park office. A park ranger was able to give  information to pass onto her boyfriend.

She told KETV the park ranger had given her the combination to a lock on the shelter's safety box, which contained supplies and blankets. She said she was not able to make further contact with her boyfriend.

The two other hikers who were reported missing Thursday were said to have been on a three-day trip starting and ending at Whitney Portal, the main trailhead for Mount Whitney. Dierkes said the men had hiked in with a friend, who became ill and hiked out before the storm hit.

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